CHICAGO, October 12, 2016 – On Sunday, October 9, Smile Train Team EMPOWER partnered with the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon as an official charity partner to help raise funds and awareness around the issues faced by children living with untreated clefts in the developing world. To date, the team has helped to raise 246 new smiles for children in need all around the world.
Smile Train Team EMPOWER is a global endurance fundraising program of Smile Train that provides a platform for athletes to make their races count toward providing free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children in need. The program boasts over 850 alumni worldwide, including prominent individuals from the business, entertainment and hospitality sectors.
“We were so thankful to be an official charity partner again this year at the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon,” said Sarah Coulam, Director, Team EMPOWER at Smile Train. “This year we had our largest marathon team and so many of our team members were supporting a cause that was both meaningful and close to their hearts.”
Among the 36 Team EMPOWER athletes who ran the Chicago Marathon this year, for Ron Williams, who is 77 years young, this marked his 39th consecutive year of participation in the race. When asked about his involvement with Smile Train Team EMPOWER, Ron replied, “Amazing, the work they do. The fact that they provide training to empower local doctors and are able to change the lives of young people is just incredible.”
Allison Pagan is another Team EMPOWER member who holds Smile Train close to her heart. Her adopted son, Zach was born with a bilateral cleft lip in Ethiopia and was given lifesaving care by local Smile Train medical partners. “Every day is a chance to reflect on the miracle of Zach’s life and to soak up the joy that he passes to everyone around. Running the Chicago Marathon was an opportunity for us to give back and pay it forward, so that parents of children with clefts around the world can experience that same gift.”
Now is the perfect time to join next year’s Team EMPOWER Chicago Marathon team. Each member will receive a fundraising webpage, training plans, discounts with community partners, and the opportunity to provide at least four new smiles ($1,000) to children suffering with untreated clefts. Entries are already filling up, click here to sign up now.
About Team EMPOWER
Smile Train Team EMPOWER is a global endurance fundraising program of Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity. Team EMPOWER gives athletes all around the world the opportunity to make their race count by providing 100%-free, safe, high-quality surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children. Smile Train Team EMPOWER athletes have helped more than 14,700 children since 2013 and have a network of 850+ alumni. Every mile helps give new smiles and new lives to children in need. To learn more about Smile Train Team EMPOWER, please visit http://ift.tt/2dLuhDA or find us at http://ift.tt/2dLuBm0 or on Twitter and Instagram at @STTeamEmpower.
Smile Train Press Contacts
Sarah Coulam, Director, Team EMPOWER firstname.lastname@example.org 646.829.0993
Nijha Diggs, Director of Public Relations email@example.com 646.751.3231
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