SINGAPORE. The Moodie Davitt Report’s ‘Smile Raising’ Charity Dinner, to be held on Saturday 6 May at Hotel Fort Canning, Singapore, has attracted further encouraging support.

As reported, the Smile Raising Charity Dinner will raise funds and visibility for international cleft charity Smile Train.

Tax Free World Association (TFWA), which hosts TFWA Asia Pacific from 7-11 May in Singapore, has pledged to take two Platinum tables – a strong show of support from the leading industry association. This is one of a number of additional table and individual seat pledges in recent days.

The dinner will be held on the eve of the TFWA Asia Pacific show. Gold tables of ten are available for US$4,000 and Platinum tables of ten for US$7,500. Individual places can be booked for US$400 each and other special support and partnership packages are available.

For more details see the official Smile Raising Charity Dinner website. To reserve a table or place, please email Vincci Chung at or Jeannie Wong at headed ‘Smile Raising’.

One of Singapore’s most renowned heritage buildings, Hotel Fort Canning bears a storied past that dates back to the early 20th century. Today, the hotel’s architecture continues to retain much of its colonial glamour, combining it with modern elements of the surrounding parklands.

In the run-up to the event we will be sharing some of the Smile Train stories, introducing you to those whose lives have been changed thanks to the charity (see below for Case Study 3). We will also report on location from Smile Train clinics.

The Smile Raising Charity Dinner event marks our 21st year in business and our fourth charity dinner to be held in Asia. Previous events in Hong Kong (2007 and 2012) and Singapore (2019) have raised almost US$1 million collectively for the nominated charities.

Smile Train has been among The Moodie Davitt Report’s preferred charities since 2007 when the Hong Kong gala dinner raised over US$300,000 for the cause.

Over the past 15 years, we have helped generate more than US$2.5 million for Smile Train through our own donations (including from The Virtual Travel Retail Expo and The Trinity Forum), charity dinners; the ‘Miles for Smiles’ fun runs in Dubai and around the world; and even a world-record, highest altitude rock gig at the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro called The Chasing Rainbows Tour.

Smile Train Case Study 3

Meet Susanna who had to relearn to speak at the age of 20

“Smile Train brought a smile to my face…”

Susanna discovered at a very early age that childhood with an untreated cleft palate can be long, lonely and miserable.

As a youngster in Ogun State, Nigeria, she had no friends. But, that wasn’t for lack of trying. Like all the other children at her school, Susanna would run to greet new classmates. But they, along with many of her classmates, laughed in her face the moment she opened her mouth.

They never let Susanna finish a sentence. So she quickly learned to stop trying.

The same children would notice her at lunchtime when sips of water leaked out through her nose and her food stuck in her palate. No one came anywhere near her when this happened; but she felt their stares like daggers.

Susanna survived her childhood and teenage years thanks to her family’s love and support and her own unwavering belief that somehow, better days were ahead. She was 20 years old when she learned that the cleft surgery she scarcely dreamed possible was available for free at the University College Hospital Ibadan, thanks to its partnership with Smile Train.

Susanna describes her Smile Train surgery and later therapy with speech specialist Dr A. A. Olusanya (right) as life-changing

“I could not afford the surgery so I am very grateful to Smile Train,” she says. “In fact, when I woke up and I opened my mouth and took the mirror and I was happy, very, very happy. Unbelievable. Like my whole life had changed.”

Surgery coincided with Susanna going to study chemistry at the University of Ibadan. Free of her past, she felt she could, for the first time, face everything with a confident smile. She soon realised, however, that surgery alone was not enough to heal old wounds. As an infant, Susanna had learned to speak with no roof to her mouth, so having a closed palate after so many years, made speaking more difficult.

Once again Smile Train was there for her, through free, ongoing speech therapy from Dr. A. A. Olusanya, a local expert specially trained in treating cleft patients’ unique speech needs.

“I discovered that my pronunciation was better and clearer,” she says. “I can now speak anywhere I want to speak. In fact, I am able to speak even to a large number of people and I won’t feel inferior or feel that they won’t hear me clearly. I’m able to make more friends.”

Just keep singing… and smiling: Susanna performing at the Sing and Smile Club’s Christmas concert

Susanna is not only speaking everywhere, she is singing, too, taking centre stage with the Ibadan Sing and Smile Club, a choir made up of local Smile Train patients.

“Smile Train brought a smile to my face. The future is bright, but now it’s brighter with the smile. Thank you, Smile Train.” ✈