Looking positively demure, Jessica Simpson was a special guest at Operation Smile's 25th Anniversary Gala at the Beverly Hilton. Ms. Simpson, who is their International Youth Ambassador, joined their medical mission in Akura, Kenya, where she assisted the volunteer team with medical evaluations for more than 280 children who needed corrective surgery for their facial deformities. Wearing a simple black high-necked sheath (very unlike the Daisy Duke outfit she wore in "Dukes of Hazzard"), Jessica warbled "Amazing Grace" a cappella, and wowed the SRO audience.
|Jessica Simpson congratulates 9 year old Paige Atkinson for raising $17,000 for Operation Smile. Photo credit: Vince Bucci.|
Operation Smile founded by Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Bill Magee, and his wife, Kathy, have treated more than 100,000 children around the world and recruited thousands of volunteers in the specialty care of cleft surgery. Among the honorees at the event were humanitarians Victoria Jackson and Bill Guthy, who received the Wallis Annenberg Public Service Award, and actress Molly Simms (Las Vegas) who lends her smashing smile to many charitable causes. The former Super Model co-hosted A Smile Collection Couture Event in New York City which raised $2.2 million, and joined their medical team on a mission to Lima, Peru.
|Roma Downey (Saved by an Angel) is joined by her husband, Mark Burnett and Operation Smile Founder, Dr. Bill Magee. Photo credit: Vince Bucci.|
As she stated, "My experience in Peru touched my heart, and made me realize how lucky these people are to have Operation Smile in their lives.
Access Hollywood's Billy Bush emceed the show, which featured Tony Award winning actress and recording artist Jennifer Holliday, and America's Got Talent 2006 winner, Bianca Ryan. The 13-year-old artist received the supreme compliment from Simon Cowell (who is not usually laudatory) who stated "Bianca is potentially one of the best singers I ever heard in my life".
|Jennifer Holliday and Bianca Ryan performed. Photo credit: Vince Bucci.|
Among those addressing the black tie audience, was charming Angeles Lladro, who jetted in from Spain for the occasion. She presented a check to the foundation for $150,000 to help the cause. We lunched with her the following day at Lladro boutique on Rodeo Drive, and sampled the launch of their home fragrance collection. Muy elegante! Others lauded include Attorney Sy Goldberg, Jon Saley, the first NBA player to win four championships with three different teams, who traveled to Brazil with Operation Smile, and Corey Maggette, of the L.A. Clippers who received the Wilt Chamberlain Award for his dedication to making the world a better place for children.
|Angeles Lladro presented a check for $150,000 to Emcee Billy Bush. Photo credit: Vince Bucci.|
Other celebs in attendance included Roma Downey, and hubby, Reality King, Mark Burnett, Producer Robert Zemeckis, and my husband's niece, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of Teleflora, Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful (to name a few).
|"Las Vegas" creator Gary Scott Thompson presented Universal Smile Award to Molly Sims. Photo credit: Vince Bucci.|
Also lending their star power are a slew of "Smile Ambassadors" including Mariah Cary, International Venezuelan Salsa singer, Oscar D'Leon, actress Roselyn Sanchez, and Carmit Bachar, best known as a member of the pop group, The Pussycat Dolls. Ms Bachar will be participating in an upcoming Operation Smile international medical mission in Bolivia. Bet this beauty will give them something to smile about on the Hollywood Beat.