Operation Smile: Gallery Luncheon

Operation Smile raised $600 from its second annual luncheon fundraiser on Saturday, March 5. The fundraiser included an art gallery theme, and guests were served Filipino food and provided with performances by Walnut High All Male dance team and Modern Anchor, an alumni Walnut band.

Through the luncheon, the club aimed to raise money and awareness towards providing surgical care to underprivileged children with cleft palates, a birth deformation of an opening in the roof of the mouth. This defect makes the child prone to future health issues and social isolation.

“I believe [the purpose of the luncheon is] about getting people to be more aware of the disorder that could’ve happened to any one of us. These kids struggle with the confidence that we tend to build at such a young age,” freshman Summer Armstrong said.

Operation Smile president senior Catherine Yong gave speeches about the simple and inexpensive procedure needed for cleft palates and showed clips of the transformations in a child’s life through the surgery.

“[The luncheon] helped a lot of people learn about what we’re really trying to do [as a club],” cabinet member sophomore Matthew Chang said. “A lot of members don’t really know our core cause and why we actually are a club, which is to help fundraise for children in third world countries who are unable to afford those surgeries themselves.”

In addition to raising money and awareness, the objective of the event was to persuade and encourage other students to attend mission trips to areas where large numbers of children are afflicted with the deformation.

“Our club really tries to push our own Walnut High School students to attend a mission trip,” Yong said. “A lot of times, our student body doesn’t realize how easy it is to actually attend a mission trip. They think it’s too improbable because it is an overseas trip, so what we tried to do at this luncheon is educate the guests about how accessible it is. We get the opportunity to see the transformation in a child’s life from before the operation and after. Seeing [the club members’] commitment and constant motivation to a club pushes me [to] fall deeper in love with this club.”

By Melissa Kim, Staff writer

Photo by Emily Chen