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HUGS gala raises money for "Help Us Bring Smiles" missions

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – The HUGS Foundation held its annual fundraising gala in downtown Rochester Friday evening.

The money raised goes to supplies and expenses in sending medical teams to third-world countries for facial reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Vito Quatela, who leads the “Help Us Bring Smiles” missions, spoke Friday about what keeps him returning to those countries.

“I see a kid who really has no hope for the future, who will be abandoned because some of these countries, you’re a liability if you have a deformity,” said Dr. Quatela. “And I see a kid who wants to go to architect school or another kid who wants medical school and help other kids. So every time I look at one of these kids, I see a new future for each one of them.”

Dr. Quatela leaves for Hanoi in just three weeks for another mission.

On a quick, related note - 13WHAM wants to congratulate our own Don Alhart, who received a special award during Friday's gala.

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