While shoppers’ smiles are currently hidden behind their masks, they’ll soon spot plenty of friendly faces in the snack aisle thanks to Lay’s – including Middletown’s very own Stephanie Frazier Grimm. 

Stephanie Frazier.

After calling on Americans earlier this year to nominate people they know who are actively spreading joy, Stephanie is one of 30 people who was selected by Lay’s to appear on millions of new potato chip bags that are dropping in store shelves this month – with up to $1 million in proceeds benefiting Operation Smile. 

Through The Confetti Foundation, Frazier Grimm is sharing smiles and throwing birthday parties, helping over 9,500 hospitalized children celebrate their birthdays in style.

While this is the third year for the Lay’s Smiles bags in-store, savvy potato chip fans may notice they look a little different than previous versions. The more than 70 different bag designs were created using CGI technology after COVID-19 concerns required cancelling the in-person production that would have brought all the “Everyday Smilers” to Dallas for a VIP photo and video shoot experience. To quickly pivot, each “Everyday Smiler” was instead sent detailed instructions to capture self-portraits using their phones – and the resulting amateur photos were professionally enhanced for transferring on to the Lay’s bags.

“Having poured through thousands of nominations and already being personally committed to these Smiles ourselves, particularly now when people are looking for more reasons to smile than ever before, we knew we couldn’t let a cancelled photo shoot keep Lay’s from sharing these inspiring stories with the world,” said Sadira Furlow, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America in a press release. “Across stores and within households, Lay’s has the power to reach millions of Americans every day. We already know that what’s inside the bag brings joy, but turning the Lay’s bag into a canvas to multiply that happiness factor is what makes the Smiles program so special.”

Last year, more than 71,000 people scanned the Lay’s Smiles QR codes to hear the unique stories behind each “Everyday Smiler” and 2020 offers even more inspiration from around the country, including:

  • April and her organization, Breast Cancer Can Stick It!, have raised awareness and nearly $300,000 in funds to fight breast cancer through music-minded events that were fueled by her experience as a breast cancer survivor and professional drummer.
  • Bola I., Plano, Texas: A self-proclaimed “youth enthusiast,” Bola has turned her passion into action, encouraging the entrepreneurial spirits of 800 young women and providing over 150 underserved students with passports and travel grants to help them expand their horizons.
  • Brady H., Kinnelon, N.J.: Born with a bilateral cleft lip and cleft palate, Brady credits the support he received through Operation Smile for making him the man he is today — which is why he’s working with them to raise funds and take part in medical missions to help children like him across the world.
  • Chad H., Dallas: Chad is the founder and CEO of Momentum Advisory Co. and Café Momentum, an award-winning restaurant that also serves as a 12-month internship program for juvenile offenders, helping over 900 young men and women achieve their full potential.
  • Charolette T., Fort Smith, Ark.: After retiring from a lifelong nursing career, Charolette did anything but slow down. Instead, she chose to start a nonprofit where she spends her time combating her hometown’s hunger crisis, serving more than 18,000 people in need each month.
  • Dr. Dane, Dallas: Inspired by her own immigrant story, Dr. Dane has a passion for giving back. She is creating smiles in her community and abroad through local philanthropy and providing dental care for children around the world with Operation Smile.
  • Hoan D., Seattle.: Overcoming adversity in life has allowed Hoan to connect with others in a powerful way. Traveling the world as an inspirational speaker, he sends messages of hope and positivity to more than 250,000 students and professionals.
  • Jack G., Suwanee, Ga.: Jack is tapping into technology that everyone uses — mobile phones — to help people find their closest food pantry through his free website and app, FoodFinder. With his nonprofit, Jack has connected more than 350,000 people to food relief across America.
  • Jean Paul L., New York: After seeing the toll of the 2010 earthquake on his native Haiti, Jean Paul wanted to give back. His organization, Unspoken Smiles, has provided dental care and created smiles for more than 7,000 kids in eight countries across four continents.
  • Dr. Jen, West Hollywood, Calif.: Using her experience as the first female coach in the NFL, Dr. Jen continues to be a catalyst for change, empowering thousands of girls across America to follow their dreams and challenge stereotypes through her Grrridiron Girls Football Camps.
  • Kathy M., Norfolk, Va.: As the President and Co-Founder of Operation Smile, Kathy has helped more than 300,000 people with cleft lip and cleft palate around the world receive life-changing surgery and care.
  • Kendra R., San Francisco: In 2005, Kendra left her job as a lawyer to focus on helping the youngest victims of homelessness. Her organization, Project Night Night, has distributed more than 250,000 books and comfort items to homeless and underserved children.
  • Khali S., Detroit: Coach Khali founded the Downtown Boxing Gym, a free after-school academic and athletic program in Detroit that has a 100 percent high school graduation rate.
  • Lewis S., Jersey City, N.J.: From the projects to prestigious universities, Lewis has always understood the power of motivation. Through his organization, Kismet of Kings, he is providing new opportunities, resources and life skills education to dozens of young men.
  • Luke M., Kimberly, Idaho: Luke and his organization, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, provide stability and comfort around the world by building beds for children in need. They’ve built over 50,000 so far!
  • Mona P., San Antonio: As founder of the San Antonio Amputee Foundation, Mona helps to better the lives of amputees — from campaigning for better prosthetic insurance coverage to leading a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Mike F., Brooklyn, N.Y.: Through their organization, Blankets of Hope, Mike and his brother Nick are helping students practice empathy and kindness by donating blankets — each paired with an inspirational handwritten note — to those experiencing homelessness. They’ve donated over 31,000 blankets so far!
  • Najah B., Canton, Mich.: Inspired by her experience as a nurse, Najah and Zaman International are providing basic needs assistance and vocational training to women, children and refugee families — empowering over two million people worldwide to break the cycle of poverty.
  • Nick. F., Brooklyn, N.Y.: Through their organization, Blankets of Hope, Nick and his brother Mike are helping students practice empathy and kindness by donating blankets — each paired with an inspirational handwritten note — to those experiencing homelessness. They’ve donated over 31,000 blankets so far!
  • Nosa E., Chicago: Once a professional athlete himself, Nosa is now using his experience to help others transition out of the sports world by serving as a youth advocate and mentor, promoting joy and helping thousands of kids realize their potential.
  • Pollyanna N., Concord, N.C.: Pollyanna believes strongly that knowledge is power, and she uses that knowledge to help those around her. Through her organization, Active Veterans With Answers, she is helping fellow veterans become educated and access the important benefits they have so rightfully earned.
  • Rachel S., Lexington, Mass.: A proud mother herself, Rachel has helped families in the Boston area keep their babies clean and dry by distributing over 150,000 diapers through Beantown Baby Diaper Bank.
  • Rodney S., Madison, Ala.: Rodney and his organization, Raising Men Lawn Care Service, teach kindness and responsibility with the “50 Yard Challenge,” a call for kids to mow 50 lawns in their local communities. The challenge provides free lawn care for more than 33,000 people in need.
  • Ron T., Odessa, Fla.: Inspired by a visit to his grandmother, Ron is working with schools, organizations and companies to decorate and send loving greeting cards to senior communities across America. His organization sent over 71,000 cards last year!
  • Roy T., Reno, Nev.: Since experiencing his own life-changing fall, Roy has been working through his organization, High Fives, to keep the adventurous spirit alive for hundreds of athletes recovering from their own injuries.
  • Sandra N., Boston: Sandra knows that a soup kitchen provides more than just food. Through her organization, the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen, she provides a safe, welcoming space that serves 275 meals every Tuesday.
  • Stephanie F., Middletown, R.I.: Through The Confetti Foundation, Stephanie is sharing smiles and throwing birthday parties, helping over 9,500 hospitalized children celebrate their birthdays in style.
  • Tia F., Pompano Beach, Fla.: Tia created No Limits Foundation Inc. to inspire purpose and build confidence in special needs children. Her fashion show events have helped many kids to dream bigger and even pursue modeling.
  • Tracy Q., Fulton, Md.: Tracy has a passion for creating sweet moments for children and families impacted by childhood illness. Through Icing Smiles, she has delivered tasty memories in the form of 44,000 custom cakes and cookies.
  • Veronica P., Reno, Nev.: Inspired by her dog Judge’s unique birthmark, Veronica started a campaign called The Remarkable Golden and left her law career to hit the road in an RV, empowering people around the country to celebrate their own unique traits.

For the third year in a row, the Smile with Lay’s campaign directly benefits Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides access to safe surgical care to those who have cleft conditions.

“The Smile with Lay’s program reflects the true power of how a smile can change the world, beginning with the one-on-one interaction you may have with a stranger to the life-changing surgeries and  resources Operation Smile is able to provide thanks to our committed staff,  generous donors, medical volunteers and  longtime partners like Lay’s,” said Kristie Magee Porcaro, Chief Strategy Officer & Partnerships Operation Smile in a statement.

The Lay’s Smiles bags are available nationwide while supplies last. To learn more, visit www.Lays.com.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.