ST. MARYS – "An Afternoon of Smiles and Sunshine" will raise money to help children with cleft and craniofacial conditions and their families with treatment and transportation costs.
A combination luncheon and fashion show, the event will be held on Sunday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Red Fern, 421 Old Kersey Rd., St. Marys. Tickets are available at www.showclix.com/events/afternoonofsmiles;  the deadline is Thursday, May 10. More information is available by contacting Amy Gelzheiser at The Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, phone 412-692-3916, or email@example.com .
Event Chairperson Amy Straub said the fun and fashion is for a cause very close to her heart; her son Adam, now 7 years old, was born with a cleft lip and palate.
"We didn't know he had one until he was born," Straub said.
She said she and her husband, Pete, were directed to the Cleft-Craniofacial Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC, where Adam received treatment to correct the condition. The family traveled to Pittsburgh weekly for six months to complete a molding process that helped limit the number of surgeries Adam would need.
"People who meet our son don't know, can't believe he was born with a craniofacial cleft palate," Straub said, adding that the doctors, other medical professionals and personnel have been "amazing."
"The support we have received from Children's has been unbelievable, all the way around," Straub said.
She said she and her husband wanted to find a way to give back to the center and thought the luncheon and fashion show would be a good way to raise money for the Cleft-Craniofacial Center.
She explained that the couple was "fortunate" because they were able to take the necessary time to go back and forth to Pittsburgh without compromising employment. Some, she said, are not so lucky and the funds raised will help them, too.
Pick up a copy of the Monday, May 7, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.