Donald Trump Jr.  to attend groundbreaking for new headquarters of Operation Smile

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There’s going to be plenty to smile about in Virginia next week when business dignitaries, including Donald Trump Jr., celebrate a groundbreaking in Virginia Beach for the new global headquarters of Operation Smile.

The ceremony will be held Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., following a private reception for Operation Smile on Tuesday night at the governor’s Executive Mansion.  Trump, an executive vice president for The Trump Organization in New York, serves on the board of directors of the international humanitarian organization. Operation Smile operates in 60 countries, providing surgical care to children with facial deformities.

Since its founding in Norfolk in 1982 by Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, the medical charity has treated more than 150,000 children born with cleft lips, palates and other conditions.  According to Operation Smile, about one in ten children born with a cleft dies before their first birthday. 

Trump, a regular on his father’s television show, “The Apprentice,” and Gov. Bob McDonnell will speak at the groundbreaking. Also in attendance will be First Lady Maureen McDonnell, Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr., former mayor Meyera Oberndorf, William R. Fox, chairman of the board of directors for Operation Smile, and a former and current patient.

The 72,300-square-foot headquarters will be built in the Princess Anne Commons area. In 2007, the city of Virginia Beach donated 9.3 acres of land for the headquarters. An anonymous donor contributed $10 million of the $20 million construction costs. Hourigan Construction and Clark Nexsen designed the building and will jointly oversee construction, with completion expected by early 2012. 

The move from its current site on Tidewater Drive to Virginia Beach will provide more space for educational programs and collaborative meetings, like one being held from Sept. 27-30 in Norfolk that will bring 70 medical leaders from around the world together to evaluate Operation Smile’s global standards of care.

“Our generous supporters in Hampton Roads have shown an incredible commitment and dedication to help us change the lives for so many children worldwide,” CEO Magee said in a statement. “With our world headquarters in Virginia Beach, our vision for Operation Smile’s future is now becoming a reality.”


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