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Miss Emery assemblies discuss Operation Smile

Students at Emery High help Miss Emery MarKette Tanner teach everyone about smiling.

By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

Miss Emery MarKette Tanner has spent some time the last two weeks visiting all of the schools in Emery County. She gave a presentation about her platform issue which is Operation Smile.

Operation Smile is an international children's medical charity that heals children's smiles, forever changing their lives.

As an international charity for children, they measure their success by the joy they see on all of the faces they help. At Operation Smile they are a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.

Every child deserves access to safe, quality surgical care. Every child deserves a future filled with hope.

Operation Smile is the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgeries. Since 1982, Operation Smile, through the help of dedicated medical volunteers, has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and more than 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with facial deformities. Their work creates a lasting global impact. Operation Smile trains local doctors in developing countries and strengthens healthcare systems so more children in some of the poorest areas in the world can be treated.

As one of the most prominent charities for children in the world, Operation Smile works in more than 60 countries to heal children's smiles and bring hope for a better future. Together, they are saving children's lives.

The cost of a surgery to save a child's life is $240. In Tanner's presentation she asked students to give up a candy bar, bottle of pop or even their lunch money to help a child in need of this surgery.

She collected the money from the schools and raised enough money for seven surgeries.

Tanner said, "Even if you are in a bad mood, if you force yourself to smile it will lift your mood. Even babies smile. It takes 5-53 facial muscles to smile. There are 19 different types of smiles. I love the Operation Smile video. I wanted to be a part of it. The medical professionals donate their time for the reconstructive surgery. The surgery takes 45 minutes and it can transform a life.

"Saving someone's life is a big deal. Only $240 can save a child. Do what you can to help. Even if you can't donate, then you can smile. Share smiles with people and be happy," said Tanner.

"A smile can effect those around you. Spread the joy and think how lucky you are to have your smile," said Tanner.

Smile facts: Smiles are the most recognizable facial feature. A smile is a universal sign of happiness. Smiling boosts the immune system. It's easier to smile than to frown. People still smile at work. Smiling is contagious, smiling relieves stress. Women smile more than men. Smiles are more attractive than make-up, smiles can help you get promoted. People still smile at work.

The Miss Emery pageant is June 29.




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