National Football League running back Kenyan Drake led a three-mile walk on Saturday during Smile Train’s Family Fun Day held at Long Island’s Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve in Lloyd’s Harbor. Drake, who finished last football season fired-up and hungry, stepped out of his role as a gridiron star to be a Smile Train ambassador and help to honor two and a half year old Gerard Avellaneda. But as always, there is more to the story.
Helping Others is Music to Everyone’s Ears
Smile Train is an international children’s charity located in more than 85 countries with a focus on providing comprehensive repair surgery for cleft lip and palate, completely free of charge. “It’s amazing because not only does today’s event show in pictures what we as a community and as Smile Train supporters can do to change the lives of children born with cleft, but all of the money goes directly to doing just that,” said Long Island Development Manager Nicole Gerberg.
“We’re able to show support with our groups, our smiles, our pictures and to produce enough money to put everything together and create that many more smiles in developing nations.”
An Interview with Kenyan Drake
Musicinterviewmagazine.com spoke to Kenyan Drake about being part of Smile Train.
Acknowledging your NFL star power, what would you like to accomplish as an ambassador with Smile Train?
I just want to be able to promote Smile Train to a level where we can continue to spread positivity across the country and across the world. Coming from Miami, I’d like to bring the Smile Train movement to other parts of the country to provide that positivity to kids where they need it.
What inspired you to Join Smile Train?
Well, from a personal standpoint, I didn’t always have the greatest smile. But none of that adds up to the grief others go through having a cleft lip or palate. So this is kind of a way of giving back and showing how having a great smile can add to a person’s life. I’m just happy to use the platform I have. I consider it an honor and a great responsibility being part of Smile Train.
How has optimism played a role in your football career and with Smile Train?
At the end of the day, there is no perfect team, no perfect game, no perfect player. You always have to overcome some type of obstacle or some type of adversity. I feel that’s what helps create a great team, or a great player. A person who can use that as motivation is usually also a bigger and better person. With Smile Train, children are given a second chance at having a great smile. Smile Train has the optimism to help spread the kind of positivity children need.
Images: Kenyan Drake; CEO Susannah Schaefer, Nicole Gerberg; Kenyan Drake, Paul Wolfle; Penny Alviano, Siobhan Jones.
Photos: Mindy Wolfle