By Kathy Kincade, Editor in Chief, and Kimberly Burke, contributing writer

June 7, 2012 -- Why would an ice cream company embark on a nationwide campaign to raise money and awareness for Operation Smile, an international charity that for 30 years has been helping kids with cleft lip/palate and facial deformities?

Brooke Burke, a Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile
Television personality Brooke Burke, a Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile, was on hand June 6 at the Grove in Los Angeles in support of Dreyer's new Reason to Smile campaign.

For Dreyer's/Edy's ice cream, the answer is simple:

"For nearly a century, our brand has been on a simple mission to inspire a smile," said Jill Shoemaker, vice president of marketing for Dreyer's/Edy's Slow Churned.

On June 6, the company unveiled its nationwide Reason to Smile campaign with an event in Los Angeles featuring television personality Brooke Burke, who is also a Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile. Burke and representatives of Dreyer's and Edy's gave away free scoops of the company's slow-churned brand, which has half the fat and one-third fewer calories than regular ice cream.

They also encouraged fans to take their photo in the Slow Churned photo booth, where smiles were automatically uploaded to Dreyer's and Edy's Facebook pages. Throughout the summer, for every "ice cream smile" photo uploaded to the Facebook pages, $5 will be donated to Operation Smile, up to $125,000.

"As a mother of four and a woman and someone in the industry, I understand the value of self-confidence in a smile, which most people take for granted," Burke said in an interview with "Being able to have the self-confidence that a beautiful smile brings is something every child should be able to have. Imagine if you were a mother and your child was born with a cleft palate or facial deformity that could be corrected and you didn't have the means to have it corrected -- it is heartbreaking."

Dryer's Slow Churned photo booth
During the Reason to Smile event in Los Angeles, ice cream fans were encouraged to take their photo in the Slow Churned photo booth. For every "ice cream smile" photo uploaded to Dreyer's Facebook page, $5 will be donated to Operation Smile.

The goal of the Reason to Smile campaign, which runs through August 31, is to capture 25,000 photos before the end of the summer, which will enable Operation Smile to provide more than 500 reconstructive surgeries for children around the globe suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities. More than 200,000 children are born with cleft lip and cleft palate each year, and the condition threatens both the life and livelihood of the child.

This was the first of several live events that Dreyer's and Burke will be hosting across the U.S. in support of the Reason to Smile campaign this summer. Additional events are scheduled in July and August:

  • July 2-4: America's Freedom Festival, Provo, UT
  • July 3-4: U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte, NC
  • August 2: The Slow Churned SocialLuxe Lounge, New York City
  • August 10-12: Denver County Fair, Denver

Those unable to stop by one of the events can upload their smile photos to or In return, they will receive a coupon for free ice cream.

Jennifer Eiseman, Brooke Burke, Steven Pratt
From left, Jennifer Eiseman, brand manager, Dreyer's; Brooke Burke; Steven Pratt, director of marketing, Dreyer's/Edy's.

Ten smiles will be featured in a Slow Churned print ad, and one picture will win a spot on the cartons of a Slow Churned limited-edition flavor being reintroduced to store shelves in early 2013, according to Dreyer's.

About Operation Smile

Operation Smile is a worldwide humanitarian organization founded in 1982 by William Magee, DDS, MD, and his wife Kathleen to provide free reconstructive surgery for children and adults with cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities.

Today the organization has a presence in some 60 countries and has performed more than 200,000 free surgeries and more than 2 million patient evaluations. These efforts are supported by about 5,500 volunteers and 300 employees worldwide.

For Burke, the campaign is another way to raise awareness about the impact Operation Smile is having on children and families around the world, as well as the challenges that remain.

"There is not enough money and not enough time to give everyone in the world the medical attention they need. Thousands of people are donating their time and raising millions of dollars, and Operation Smile still has to turn away people because there isn't enough time or resources or money," Burke said. "So the more money they raise, the more supplies they can get and the more people they can help."

Copyright © 2012

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