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CHOC Cleft and Craniofacial Family Event at the Santa Ana Zoo!


This past July was Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month and I was so excited to be a part of the celebration at the CHOC Craniofacial department’s 2nd annual family event at the Santa Ana Zoo!  The event brought together over 300 patients and family members! It was a great day for the kids and their parents to relax and have fun as well as an opportunity to make connections and find support.

Families enjoyed a picnic lunch provided by CHOC as well as carnival games, face-painting, 3-legged race and pie eating contest!  However, the highlight for me was the talent show!  Although every act was great, one in particular was absolutely amazing and inspirational.  A beautiful 10 year old girl born with a cleft lip and palate stood up and sang with full confidence, Get Back Up Again by Anna Kendrick.  When asked afterwards why she chose that song and what it meant to her, her simple message was no matter how many set backs you have in life and how many difficulties you may go through, you can get back up again!

At the event, Just a Smile was able to present a $1,000 check to the CHOC Craniofacial Department as a donation to help our local kids with cleft lip and palate and their families.  We hope to be able to support the CHOC Craniofacial team and the many local families for many years to come!

After-school Otter Pop sales to benefit CHOC!


Thanks to the support of my awesome middle school, we were able to raise over $200 selling Otter Pops after school this past week!

We received generous donations of Otter Pop cases from members of our PRIDE Stars program, led by Ms. Vollebregt.

Special thanks to my friend and Just a Smile member, Izzy, for all her hard work.   We are now one step closer to being able to purchase specialized baby bottles for the cleft lip and palate babies at CHOC Hospital!

Just a Smile bake sale in Ladera Ranch!

After a rainy past few days, the skies were beautiful on Sunday as fellow Just a Smile member and friend, Jenna, hosted a bake sale with me in Ladera Ranch’s Town Green.  We had lots of foot traffic and were able to sell our yummy brownies, cake pops, cookies and sweets that Jenna, my friend Izzy, and I baked the night before.


Thank you, Jenna, Izzy, Sam and residents of Ladera Ranch, for all your support in making this a success!