By MEGAN CHRISTOFFERSON
For those who love to run, or for those who love to help people, Saturday can be made a real “feel good” day by running for charity.
The Utah Chapter of Operation Smile and Franklin Covey are putting on the third annual “Sharpen the Saw Run/Walk” to benefit children in the United States and all over the world with physical deformities.
All proceeds from the five-kilometer run/walk, 10-kilometer run or 10-kilometer wheelchair race along the Provo River Canyon Trail will go to Operation Smile.
According to Linda Haddock, chapter administrator for Operation Smile, the run/walk for charity is a wonderful opportunity for families to get together to do something to help someone else.
Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a non-profit organization providing reconstructive surgery and dental work for indigent and uninsured children and young adults in the United States and developing countries around the world.
The organization brings together health professionals in the public and private sectors to provide quality reconstructive surgery for those who could not afford it. The most common surgeries performed are for cleft lip and palate, burn scars and club feet.
According to Haddock, each operation itself costs about $750 to perform, not including travel costs. There is a great need for funding since two out of three patients are still turned away.
“The more money we raise, the more children we are able to help,” Haddock said.
Haddock said last year the event made more than $12,000. They hope to reach a little higher number this year. However, they are grateful for anything they can raise to help the children.
In a news release, Stephen Covey, co-chair of Franklin Covey Co. and honorary chairman of Utah’s Chapter of Operation Smile, said, “The smile of one happy child can brighten our world. All of the people involved with Operation Smile are serving these children with loving kindness, support and with the opportunity to become what the envisioned themselves to be. This is what ‘leaving a legacy’ is all about.”
Haddock enjoys her work with Operation Smile because of the difference she sees it make in children’s lives.
“These children are outcasts because of their deformities; it gives back hope and dignity into their lives,” she said. “The most important thing about Operation Smile is that we go there to change lives but come back with our hearts changed.”
Registration for the event is $25, and registration packets can be picked up at the Franklin Covey store at 360 W. 4800 North in Provo. For more information call (801) 496-5050.