Ex-'DWTS' Star Derek Hough Says 'Focus on What's Good' in Campaign to Raise $1M for Kids

July 24, 2019
For years, the award-winning Derek Hough delighted audiences on shows like "Dancing With the Stars," but now the gifted entertainer is teaming up with Lay's Chips to bring new smiles to children born with cleft palates.
The "Smiles" campaign aims to raise $1 million for the medical non-profit Operation Smile, an organization that provides reconstructive surgery and support for children with cleft lip or palate conditions. With Hough on board promoting, Lays will be selling bags of chips that tell the stories of 31 inspiring people who have made a positive impact on their communities and feature a picture of their smile.
"Operation Smile has helped hundreds of thousands of kids from all over the world aesthetically, their cleft lips, their cleft palates, but also working with them for speech therapy and their mental health well-being," Hough told Cheddar on Tuesday. "It's amazing, the fact that Lays created this special bag where there are these amazing people on the front of it."
Money from the purchase of each "Smiles" bag will be donated to a cause that, according to the "World of Dance" judge, does more than provide medical help.
"People with cleft lips or cleft palates, they can be bullied, and it's a psychological strain on you, especially for these young kids, so it's not just the physical surgery," Hough stated. "It's also the emotional aspect afterwards, and the speech therapy."
The dancing star, who's been keeping busy with with a new album after finishing up a 56-city tour, emphasized the nature of spreading smiles and positivity with the fundraising effort.
"Where our focus goes, our energy flows, so let's focus on what's good in this world. And these people are real people who are on these bags, who do good in their communities," he said.
Among those people spreading joy are Dr. Shelly, a pediatrician who volunteers with Operation Smile, and Tawanda, a toy drive organizer for children with special needs and autism.
The chip varieties that are part of the campaign include Traditional, Wavy, Lightly Salted, Poppables, and Kettle Cooked, according to Lays.
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