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Millburn / Short Hills — Summit Top Stories

Summit High School Fashion Show Raises Money for Operation Smile

Melissa Kaplan Guarino

Saturday, January 14, 2012 • 8:26am

SUMMIT, NJ – Good will was in the air Thursday night as Summit High School hosted a fashion show to raise money for Operation Smile.

This international non-profit organization is responsible for healing thousands of children with cleft lip or cleft palate, a facial deformity that causes a gap on one’s lip. The surgery is relatively inexpensive by American standards, but for children and families in third world countries, it is an operation beyond their financial reach.

Summit High School has been active in raising money for Operation Smile since 2005. At that time, freshman Courtney Kern petitioned her faculty advisor, Wole Ogunkoya, to establish a new club – Operation Smile.

Ogunkoya gives full credit to Courtney for beginning the program.

“Without her, Operation Smile would not exist,” he said.

What started as a bake-sale fundraiser, turned into a fashion show in 2006, and with the exception of 2010, the fashion show has been an annual event. Each show has raised at least $10,000, with all profits sent directly to Operation Smile.

This year, the torch has been passed to Summit High School students Gabriella Quille and Grace Berkery, co-presidents of the event. The students were supported by a substantial team, including the student fashion committee, parent liaisons and the high school faculty. Full of high style and energy, the students rocked it as they walked the runway, modeling fashions provided by BCBG/Short Hills. The show went off without a hitch.

Hopes are high that with the strong turnout, Summit will continue to raise a significant amount of money for this worthy cause. Then everyone will be smiling.

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