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Operation Smile to Honor Mario Lopez, American Idol: 'Idol Gives Back,' Roma Downey & Mark Burnett Family and Vicky Mense at Smile Gala in Los Angeles

Elliott Yamin To Perform

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Operation Smile, a worldwide children's medical charity dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults, will honor Mario Lopez, American Idol: "Idol Gives Back" and Vicky Mense at its 7th Annual Smile Gala, September 18, 2008 at the Beverly Hilton. A Founders Circle presentation will be made to Roma Downey and Mark Burnett Family. "E! News" host Giuliana Rancic emcees and former "American Idol" contestant Elliott Yamin will perform.

The Universal Smile Award will be presented to Mario Lopez who danced his way into America's hearts on "Dancing With the Stars." Lopez was recently named the new host of "Extra." He is a commentator for HBO Boxing and hosts MTV's hit series "America's Best Dance Crew" and "Top Pop Group."

The Corporate Humanitarian Award will be presented to Idol Gives Back Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by the producers of American Idol and Fox to raise money and awareness for children and families living in poverty and at risk in the United States and Africa.

The Wallis Annenberg Public Service Award will be awarded to Vicky Mense. Mense opened Xi'an restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1996 and serves as Chairwoman of the Board of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce. Vicky recently joined an Operation Smile medical mission to China.

Operation Smile Co-founders Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee will make a Founders Circle presentation to the Roma Downey and Mark Burnett family. Roma has served as an Operation Smile spokesperson for 5 years and serves on the Board of Governors.

Founded in 1982, Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children's medical charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 120,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and currently work in 51 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatments, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency. Operation Smile Gala tickets are $500. Please visit

SOURCE Operation Smile
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