An Interview with Operation Smile President Thomas Lamonte

Logan Drone, Staff Writer

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This past week, I had the opportunity to interview the president of the Operation Smile Club here at Oratory, Thomas Lamonte. Tom is a junior who has always had a passion for helping out others. As I spoke with him, I got to see his passion for helping out kids through Operation Smile, a non-profit organization that helps kids with cleft lips and cleft palates in third world countries. In this interview, I asked Tom a few questions about Operation Smile and how he grew a deep and loving passion for helping others. 

 

  1. What is Operation Smile?

Operation Smile is an international medical organization that helps with facial deformities, mainly cleft lips, and cleft palates to children and adults of all ages

 

  1. Who does the organization help?

Mainly the youth in developing and third world countries. 

 

  1. How long have you been involved with Operation Smile?

I have been involved with Operation Smile for the last two years.

 

  1. How did you first get involved with Operation Smile?

I actually first got involved in my freshman year at Seton Hall Prep. A senior was walking around homeroom to homeroom, and I thought it was a great organization to join as I have a deep passion for helping out others. When I transferred to Oratory, I took my passion with me, joining the Operation Smile Club here and now being the president, leading others to help out children and adults with facial deformities.

 

  1. Are you going on any service trips for Operation Smile anytime soon?

Yes, actually. This past summer I went to ISLC at Wake Forest University. This is a conference held by Operation Smile for respective students to get a better understanding of how to be a leader in the Operation Smile Community. I have recently been selected for mission training in January, and after that, I will be eligible to go on a trip in the near future anywhere in the world. Finally, I have also been selected for the Peru ISLC as an assistant team leader. 

 

  1. How many children, if you know, have been helped out through Operation Smile?

Countless lives have been affected by this organization, but a rough estimate would be in the hundreds of thousands (200,000+).

 

  1. What is the overall goal of the club that you run through Oratory?

My goal at Oratory, for now, is to spread what Operation Smile is and recruit many new members. In the future, I would like to have more kids attend ISLC and go on medical trips. 

 

  1. How can the students help the club?

The students can help the club first by just telling people what is. The message of Operation Smile needs to first been known, and after that, helping people will become so much easier. Fundraising and volunteers will increase and improve when people know what the message of the club happens to be.

 

I would like to thank Tom for the time to answer these questions about this wonderful organization. If you are interested in joining the club, please see Tom Lamonte or Mr. Martin, as they are open to having new members join the club.