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Celebrity Fund to Assist Rural Children
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Chinese actor Li Yapeng is set to bring a medical team to his remote hometown in Xinjiang, embarking on a new mission to aid rural children with cleft palates.

Li Yapeng (L) and Carina Lau attend a press conference on Saturday, August 4, 2007, announcing the founding of a medical team by Li Yapeng's Smile Angel Foundation.

The medical team was recently formed by the Smile Angel Foundation, which Li Yapeng and his pop diva wife Faye Wong founded last year. They hope to provide free surgery to children like their daughter Li Yan, who was born in May 2006 with a cleft lip.

So far, about two hundred children from poor families have received surgery through help from the foundation.

The newly-founded team of 17 medical professionals aims to help expand the foundation's ability to reach more needy children living in rural areas.

Li Yapeng said at a Saturday press conference that the team are planning to spend one or two years helping 900 children in Xinjiang, and will also travel to other western Chinese provinces and autonomous regions, including Yunnan, Guizhou and Tibet.

He also revealed that the foundation's second charity banquet will be held in Shanghai in December, with the couple's entertainer friend Carina Lau taking care of the arrangements.

The star-studded banquet held in Beijing last December, collected 8.45 million yuan (US$1.12 million) through the auction of items donated by celebrities.
( August 5, 2007)

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