Smile at someone and most likely you'll get a smile back, and that was the case at the 2009 Smile Event. This 6th annual premiere dinner and auction benefiting children born with facial deformities, took place last week in New York City at the stylish Cipriani's on Wall Street. The event raises awareness and funds to give children worldwide a chance for a new smile. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 130,000 children born with cleft lips and cleft palates in over 50 countries. High profile guests included songstress Ciara, NFL Linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals Dhani Jones, Supermodel Sessilee Lopez and more! ESSENCE.com provided red-carpet coverage of the star-studded event that raised $1.5 million, which will aid in free facial deformity reconstruction surgery to children and young adults. For more information about Operation Smile visit, operationsmile.org.
Event images photographed by Fernando Colon