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Smile Columbia Foundation plans Oklahoma City gala to help children in need

The Smile Colombia Foundation is hosting its third annual gala on Thursday in Oklahoma City. Proceeds aid impoverished children in Colombia.
by Ken Raymond Published: April 29, 2012

There's little better than seeing a smile on the face of a happy child.

Now imagine 1,463 smiling children, and you'll have some idea of what the Smile Colombia Foundation is all about.

Over the past three years, the foundation has helped that many impoverished children across nine Colombia communities — providing backpacks, school supplies, educational seminars, scholarships, recreational activities, medical care and family workshops. Last year, the charity helped pay for a children's playground and soccer field.

On Thursday, you can give more children a reason to smile. The local charity is hosting its third “Gala for Smiles: Emerald Night” to raise money to fund its efforts in the troubled South American country.

The event includes a Latin-themed dinner, live music and performances, a silent auction and a chance to win genuine emerald jewelry. Admission includes two drink tickets and free valet parking.

The “gala became our most meaningful fundraising event in 2010,” said Edwin Amaya, the charity's founder, in a news release. “The funds collected were used to help more than 400 children with educational supplies, infrastructure improvement, health outreach and leadership building activities.

“These programs generated hope and much-needed smiles.”

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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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