In honor of Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, and in celebration of Giving Tuesday, the world-famous Empire State Building today will illuminate in the charity’s signature red and blue colors — the latest in a series of initiatives designed to generate awareness and funds to support children with cleft lip and palate around the world.
Supermodel, Actress and Smile Train Goodwill Ambassador Christie Brinkley, together with Smile Train’s Founder and Chairman Charles B. Wang, will kick off the ceremony with brief opening remarks, followed by the flipping of the ceremonial switch.
“We are thrilled to join with our great supporter, Christie Brinkley, today in lighting the iconic Empire State Building,” said Wang. “On this important day of global giving, we hope to generate awareness — here in New York and around the world — of the issues faced by children living with unrepaired clefts.”
“I am honored to be representing Smile Train at this special lighting ceremony — the culmination of many wonderful years supporting the organization and the tremendous work they do each day,” said Brinkley. “Cleft repair surgery costs as little as $250, and the impact is life-changing for children, families and entire communities across the globe.”
To ring in the 2015 holiday giving season, Smile Train recently launched its “Give a Smile, Get a Smile” campaign to help give smiles to children with clefts and, in exchange, help supporters get smiles of their own. Smile Train aims to raise enough funds to create 250 new smiles for children in need by December 31, 2015.
“Through our ‘Give a Smile, Get a Smile’ campaign and other holiday initiatives, we hope to mobilize supporters, new and old, to add smiles to our ‘Smile Jar’ and help transform a life in the process,” said Susannah Schaefer, CEO, Smile Train. “Cleft is far more than cosmetic — it impairs eating, breathing and speaking, leads to social isolation and prevents children from fully participating in their communities. Through a simple surgery, children receive much more than a new smile but a fresh opportunity at a full and productive life.”
New Yorkers are invited to share their photos of the Empire State Building illuminated in Smile Train’s signature red and blue colors on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #EmpireStateBuilding, @EmpireStateBldg, #GivingTuesday, #GiveSmiles and @SmileTrain to ignite the global conversation about cleft lip and palate; and to encourage people to make donations this holiday season.
Today, to amplify support for Smile Train’s cause, Brinkley is launching The Holiday Smile Kit — a limited edition holiday skincare set and special offering from the Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare line. For each set sold during the month of December, $50 will be donated to Smile Train in support of its goal to share new smiles across the world. The three-piece set includes the Christie Brinkley Skin Care: Recapture 360 + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day Cream, the Christie Brinkley Skin Care: Complete Clarity Facial Cleansing Wash and the Christie Brinkley Skin Care: Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish. The kit will be sold exclusively on www.christiebrinkleyauthenticskincare.com for $79.
“The Holiday Smile Kit empowers consumers to invest in the gift of healthy skin this season while simultaneously helping to change the life of a child in need,” said Brinkley. “I look forward to seeing how many new smiles this special initiative helps create across the world.”
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About Smile Train
Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their own communities. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.
About Christie Brinkley
Christie Brinkley is one of the world’s most successful models, appearing on more than 500 magazine covers during her illustrious 40 year career. Currently, Christie is a New York Times bestselling author of “Timeless Beauty.” Christie was the first model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for three consecutive years, and was the face of CoverGirl for more than 25 years. Brinkley’s been featured in People’s 100 Most Beautiful People and as an actress, she starred on Broadway and London’s West End productions of Chicago and had a recurring role on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. Recently, Christie appeared on the USA Network comedy, Donny!
About Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare
Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare is a revolutionary anti-aging skincare line that recognizes most of the signs of aging skin come from the sun. Combining multiple award winning and critically acclaimed anti-aging ingredients into a nourishing vegan formulation, it helps roll back existing damage and protects against future damage with more than full spectrum protection. Inspired by the vision of supermodel, actress and mother of three, Christie Brinkley, the Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare Collection addresses multiple signs of aging and contains products that are formulated to help defend against Infrared damage. Most creams only defend against UVA and UVB which represent just 7% of the sun’s rays that reach us. This breakthrough product line is among the first in the US to defend against damage from Infrared rays that make up 54% of the rays that reach the earth.
About the Empire State Building
Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the “World’s Most Famous Building.” With new investments in energy efficiency, infrastructure, public areas, and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, and the Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions as the region’s number-one tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit
About Empire State Realty Trust
Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), owns, manages, operates, acquires, and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building, the world’s most famous building. Headquartered in New York, New York, the company’s office and retail portfolio covers 10 million rentable square feet, as of June 30, 2015, consisting of 9.3 million rentable square feet in 14 office properties, including nine in Manhattan, three in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and two in Westchester County, New York; and approximately 720,000 rentable square feet in the retail portfolio.
Smile Train | Nijha Diggs