CSN to air documentary on Chicago sports photographer Bill Smith's fight to save the children of Cambodia
During one of their visits to Cambodia, Bill and Lauren visited the area orphanage to check on the well-being of these children and what happened next was something they never expected. They visited the baby section of the orphanage and immediately fell in love with two children, which in turn led them to adopting the pair, making them official members of the Smith household.
Chicago, IL (May 25, 2010) – Comcast SportsNet will provide viewers with a landmark, behind-the-scenes special entitled Bill Smith: Lasting Impressions detailing the amazing story of how Chicago sports team photographer Bill Smith and his wife Lauren’s 2002 visit to Cambodia changed their lives forever. This unprecedented half-hour documentary of heartache, hope, love and triumph premieres Memorial Day, Monday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m. exclusively on Comcast SportsNet.
Bill Smith: Lasting Impressions, narrated by Comcast SportsNet’s Chuck Garfien, introduces viewers to Bill Smith, who is the official team photographer for the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears. He has photographed the best of the best: Jordan, Rodman, McMahon and many others over the past three decades. However, it was an annual trip he and his wife Lauren took the Southeast Asian country of Cambodia in 2002 that opened his eyes like never before.
During their 2002 Cambodian visit, their guide on this particular trip suggested they “visit the children.” What they witnessed was beyond heart breaking. Families were actually living in the garbage dump; scavenging for items worth pennies, which often totaled to no more than ten dollars a month. Bill and his wife Lauren then, on-the-spot, sponsored some of the young children, got them out of the dump and organized a scenario to send them to school.
Once the Smiths’ friends and family heard about the horrible plight of these Cambodian children, they also did whatever they could to help donate money, but sadly, the children still lived in dilapidated shacks and breathed in the stench of the dump 24/7. It was then that the Smiths and their friends, Chicago Bulls senior director of ticket operations Joe O’Neil and his wife, Susan, partnered to use this money and build new homes for the families and children living in the dump. Over the next several years, the Smiths’ dream became a reality as donations continued to pour in and they were able to form a foundation called "A New Day Cambodia" (www.anewdaycambodia.org) and officially became a 501c3 non-profit organization and a verified NGO (Non-Government Organization) in Cambodia.
However, the story doesn’t stop there. During one of their visits to Cambodia, Bill and Lauren visited the area orphanage to check on the well-being of these children and what happened next was something they never expected. They visited the baby section of the orphanage and immediately fell in love with two children, which in turn led them to adopting the pair, making them official members of the Smith household. This moving, half-hour documentary showcasing the triumph of the human spirit is simply not to be missed.
Viewers are urged to visit a special multimedia video page set up on Comcast SportsNet’s newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com: CSNChicago.com/pages/Bill_Smith, which will include video footage from the television version of Bill Smith: Lasting Impressions and “web-exclusive” video excerpts not shown on television. In addition, CSNChicago.com will provide a photo gallery from Bill and Lauren’s recent visits to Cambodia, a “Producer’s Point” show overview/behind-the-scenes commentary from Comcast SportsNet producer Sarah Lauch, along with a link for viewers to make a donation to “A New Day in Cambodia”: ANewDayCambodia.org.
Comcast SportsNet will re-air Bill Smith: Lasting Impressions throughout the month of June, including these following dates/times: June 2 (11:00 p.m.), June 3 (7:30 p.m.), June 13 (5:00 & 7:30 p.m.), June 14 (7:00 p.m.), June 25 (11:30 a.m. & 11:00 p.m.) and June 27 (9:30 p.m.).