Malibu Seen: Why Irish Eyes Are Smiling

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Malibu mega couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey fly the flag for Operation Smile.

In keeping with tradition, Malibu power couple Roma Downey and Mark Burnett helped raise more than $1 million for Operation Smile. Op Smile fans and supporters gathered at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for a night of fundraising and inspiration.

Operation Smile, the international children’s medical charity, honored actress Selma Blair, Managing General Partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam Henry Nguyen and longtime Operation Smile friends, the Rodosky family, for all their good deeds and hard work, not to mention hands-on interest in the cause.

The evening featured special performances by singers/songwriters Natasha Bedingfield and Eric Hutchinson, as well as dancer Jim Nowakowski of “So You Think You Can Dance” fame. DJ mix master Mike of the Beastie Boys entertained guests at the after party. Kevin Beggs, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, and Jennifer and Henry Salke co-chaired the event. Malibu was well represented with Brooke Burke-Charvet serving as host.

Following a pre-dinner cocktail reception, guests were ushered into the ballroom to the lively harmony of MUSYCA Children’s Choir. Operation Smile Ambassador, actress, author and TV personality Brooke played host for the third year in a row. She provided a moving overview of the mission of Operation Smile, noting that the organization “has transformed lives across the globe via an operation that can happen in as few as 45 minutes and cost as little as $240. Their track record is unmatched.”

“Our organization is so fortunate to have such extraordinary and dedicated supporters who are making a difference in children’s lives,” said Operation Smile co-founder and CEO Dr. Bill Magee. “We are honored to celebrate these remarkable individuals for their generosity and support to enable our programs to provide exceptional surgical care for children around the world so that no child suffers from lack of access to safe surgery.”

Operation Smile provides free surgery for children worldwide suffering from facial deformities, to heal their smiles and transform their lives. Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. The Smile Gala is a premier event, helping Operation Smile provide hope and healthy futures for children worldwide. 

Award-winning actress Selma Blair was presented with the Universal Smile Award by photographer Brian Bowen Smith. She is best known for her performances in pop culture classic films such as “Cruel Intentions” and “Legally Blonde.” She will portray Kris Jenner in FX’s highly anticipated series, “American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson.”

Henry Nguyen, Managing General Partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam — a private equity firm focused on consumer, technology, media and telecom investments in Vietnam — received Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award.

Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award honors those who have demonstrated concern and love for their fellow man through their actions and deeds.

The Rodosky family was presented the 2015 Founders Circle Award, which honors unique supporters who have made outstanding contributions as a family or group of committed individuals, by their friend and long-time Operation Smile supporter Daneia Sanadiki and Operation Smile Co-Founders Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee. Steve Rodosky is Managing Director of Pacific Investment Management Company and Kim is owner and co-founder of a California design showroom.

Parents of six children, the Rodoskys have helped underwrite several of Operation Smile’s Park City Celebrity Ski & Smile Challenge events, which took place in Park City, Utah.

Kim and their two oldest boys, Charlie and Jack, went to China on an Operation Smile medical mission. While the experience is always life changing, their trip had special significance since they were able to visit the country where their sister Annie was born. In August, Steve and their youngest son Matthew went on an Operation Smile medical mission to Mexico.

Now that’s spreading smiles across the globe, one smile at a time.