Kids’ Efforts Bring Smiles All Around

Wheeling Middle School student Faith Richter knows how tough everyday life can be for those with a cleft lip, which is why she raised more than $1,000 for Operation Smile to benefit children born with cleft lips and palettes.

Richter, who was born with a cleft lip, held an Operation Smile Walkathon at Wheeling Middle on Thursday to help raise funds.

With the help of the students, parents, faculty and staff of Wheeling Middle and the local community, her goal is to raise $2,400 to fund 10 surgeries which cost $240 each.

Richter has been running all year to log in 25.2 miles and will eventually run the Operation Smile Final Mile at the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, Va., on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, where thousands of children who have been raising funds for the charity will meet. It is her third year participating in the marathon.

“Faith really thought Operation Smile was good for her to do, because she knows what it’s like and there are children in other countries who are her age and have never had a surgery who don’t go to school because they are embarrassed or kids are mean,” Heather Richter, Faith’s mother, said. “This is something Faith decided to do, because she wanted to do a charity, something nice for others.”

Her little brother, Wilson Richter, who attends Bethlehem Elementary, is also raising money for the walkathon in Virginia.

Visit to support the Richters’ efforts.