“To me, myFace Celebrates… feels like a family reunion! I can’t wait to make new friends, and see all my old friends again – fellow myFace Stars, myFace staff, and the team at the myFace Center, who have all supported me and watched me grow over the years.” – Ana, 16, myFace Star
NEW YORK (PRWEB) April 26, 2022
New York City-based nonprofit myFace announces that its annual myFace Celebrates event will take place on Monday, May 2nd, 2022. The in-person benefit will be held at 6:00pm at Guastavino’s in New York City, and the free virtual broadcast will be live at 7:30pm ET, available on myfacecelebrates.org. This unique event will raise awareness about the experience of living with a facial difference, and why access to quality comprehensive care, education and resources is so critical to paving the way for better outcomes. Messages of hope, resilience, and community will be shared throughout the program, highlighting myFace’s mission to change faces and transform lives.
myFace Executive Director Stephanie Paul shares, “While we are so thrilled to finally be able to gather as a community in person after the pandemic has kept us apart for so long, we are also excited that people all over the country can partake virtually in this year’s myFace Celebrates… from wherever they may be! Our vision is that myFace will become the nationally-recognized, go-to resource for craniofacial patients and their families. A one-stop shop that can connect them to the information, support, and community events – like myFace Celebrates… – that ensure no one in the craniofacial community ever feels alone in their journey.”
The program includes special musical performances by myFace Stars, firsthand stories from people living with craniofacial differences, and an awards ceremony honoring two special members of the craniofacial community: Patricia Chibbaro, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the myFace Center for Craniofacial Care at NYU Langone Health for 34 years, and Ariel Henley, award-winning author of A Face for Picasso, a memoir about her journey with Crouzon Syndrome, published by Macmillan Publishers and a 2022 recipient of the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
This year’s myFace Stars – Grace (15), Samir (12), Ana (16), and Kaylee (15) – are adolescents living with craniofacial differences who want to share their talents with the world. Samir, Ana, and Kaylee were all born with a cleft lip and/or palate, while Grace was born with Escobar Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that severely impacts her joints. myFace Star Grace has taken to social media to share her experience with Escobar Syndrome, and uses her platform of over 60,000 followers across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to educate the public about life with a disability in an effort to remove stigmas surrounding differences.
myFace Star Ana, who has been involved with myFace since 2015, shares that, “To me, myFace Celebrates… feels like a family reunion! I can’t wait to make new friends, and see all my old friends again – fellow myFace Stars, myFace staff, and the team at the myFace Center, who have all supported me and watched me grow over the years.” Twelve other talented adolescents and adults with craniofacial differences from across the country will join Grace, Samir, Ana, and Kaylee for the grand finale performance of Sara Bareilles’ hit song, “Brave,” which is a message that resonates with everyone in the myFace community. See the powerful finale performance live at 7:30pm ET on May 2nd, 2022 at myfacecelebrates.org!
Each myFace Star has been paired with a mentor to help them hone their skills and sharpen their talents for this special occasion. This year’s mentors include Broadway singer and actress Allie Trimm, the Paper Bag Theater Company’s composer and music director John K. Stone, and opera singer David Santiago.
“I’m honored to be working with myFace Stars Kaylee and Ana on a song that is very near and dear to my heart – “For Good,” from Wicked – where I sing this very song as Glinda,” says Allie Trimm. “Ana and Kaylee have worked so hard to prepare a wonderful duet for you all, and I can’t wait for everyone to see their talents shine!”
“As a member of the myFace Board of Trustees, it is truly special to be a part of myFace Celebrates… as a mentor for the second year in a row. It has deepened my connection with this wonderful organization,” shares David Santiago. “It’s a true joy to celebrate such life, such courage, and such talent! I can’t wait to see each rising star blossom, and am honored to be playing a small part in what they are capable of!”
Almost every hour in this country a child is born with a craniofacial difference. Every year an additional 100,000 individuals are disfigured through accident or disease. myFace is here to support anyone with a facial difference by providing access to resources and the tools they need to thrive, ensuring that no member of the craniofacial community ever feels alone. Visit myfacecelebrates.org to RSVP for the in-person benefit, sign up for the FREE livestream broadcast, and/or to learn more!
myFace Mentor Biographies
Allie Trimm is a singer and actress who made her critically acclaimed Broadway debut as leading lady “Patrice” in Jason Robert Browns’ musical “13.” She went on to perform in the Broadway revival of “Bye Bye Birdie” with John Stamos and Gina Gershon. In December 2021, Allie joined the cast of “Wicked” as the standby for the role of Glinda. In addition to performing, Allie is pursuing her degree in psychology from Stanford University and loves to give back by coaching and nurturing young aspiring performers around the world.
John Stone is Composer and Music Director for The Paper Bag Players, the children’s theater company, with whom he performs 100 shows annually throughout the Northeast. His Langston Hughes song-cycle, “Daybreak in Alabama,” was featured in the nationally broadcast radio series, “Song of America,” hosted by Thomas Hampson, and has been performed nationally and internationally. John made his Mostly Mozart Festival debut with a string quartet arrangement performed by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble.
David Santiago is a versatile lyric tenor with an expansive repertoire, having performed in such operas as Robert Devereux, Macbeth, La Traviata, and L’Amico Fritz. This season he will be performing in Battery Park, NY, with Teatro Grattacielo. In 2020, he took the stage at Carnegie Hall where he celebrated his solo debut in the concert, “A Journey from Bel Canto to Verismo.” When David is not singing, he is artfully designing residential and hospitality interiors through his firm, Casa Santi Interior Design.
For more than 70 years, myFace has advocated for individuals and families to ensure them access to comprehensive medical and emotional craniofacial care and support. By providing important services such as support groups, educational webinars, podcasts, online resources, and more, myFace helps individuals with facial differences achieve the best possible outcomes and know they are never alone in their journey. For more information about myFace, please visit myFace.org. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel and Newsletter to receive the latest updates.