In This Issue...
A Letter From the President
A Reason to Smile
Executive Director's Notes
The Importance of Learning from Each Other
Our Board President, Dr. Don Montano
As 2017 comes to a close, we have some time to reflect upon our year's events. Dear friends have passed, new friends are made and we remember the events that bring us joy. I've had the good fortune to serve as president of Smile For a Lifetime Foundation as well as hosting a local chapter. I hope all of you feel the love and soulful satisfaction that comes with providing the confidence that a beautiful smile brings to deserving children. Please take the time to personally talk to these children and get to know them. They will teach you a great deal about living and what is important in life.
I want to thank our founder, Dr. Ben Burris, for his generous gift to S4L this year which willl provide ongoing income to our national foundation. This gift is timely as we seek to provide our chapters more support.
Thank you all for giving of yourselves!
Dr. Donald Montano
A Reason to Smile
The Northern New York Chapter of Smile for a Lifetime began in summer of 2014, when my lifelong friend, Dr. Kellie Sanzone, called and asked for my help with a long time dream of hers. I had just retired from 30 years of teaching English at our local high school when Kellie said that she had a "job" for me. After more than twenty-five years of practicing orthodontics in Watertown, New York, Kellie wanted help in starting a local chapter of S4L in the North Country. It took some time, but together we recruited a talented and devoted board of directors, and established our chapter in 2015.
Our first "Smile Scholar" is a happy success story. The school nurse at Wiley School in Watertown referred Travon to us at the end of his sixth grade year. His references from the school told the story of a talented and enthusiastic athlete whom other students teased about his crooked smile. When bothered about his crooked teeth, he glowered, became silent and angry, and needed significant time to regain his composure. His teeth were so misaligned that he smiled infrequently and could not fit a mouth guard over his teeth. Travon loves football and sports, but couldn't participate safely because he couldn't wear the protective mouth gear he needed. When we first met Travon at his consultation with Dr. Sanzone, he was a bit shy and withdrawn. One of the first things that Dr. Sanzone did for Travon was to make him a mouth guard that he could wear while playing his beloved sports.
On the day he got his first set of braces, Travon smiled, and his family brought flowers. Over the course of treatment in the last two years, Travon has changed into a smiling, pleasant young man. He is thriving as an eighth grader at Case Middle School, and he is paying it forward by working at the local SPCA. Despite the fact that Travon had exceeded the required number of hours, he continues to volunteer because he likes what he is doing. We suspect he is also smiling a lot while working.
In addition to Travon, the Northern New York Chapter of Smile for a lifetime has six other scholars in treatment with Dr. Sanzone. They represent five different schools and three different counties of the North Country. Their community service projects include: volunteering at the SPCA, working at local food pantry, volunteering at a small local library, child care at the YMCA, and volunteering at a church thrift store. Our new chapter is hoping to add at least three more "smile scholars" in the coming months, giving other deserving children a reason to smile.
Smile for a Lifetime (S4L) will be holding an Online Smilent Auction at The Forum with Ormco, at JW Marriot, Palm Desert, California, starting Friday, Feb. 16th . Over 100K in donated goods and services will be available for purchase. Monies raised will be used to increase the amount of children we serve in 2018!
Anyone interested in donating a product or service can contact Michelle at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to do so. Bidders can find additional information about the auction and view items as they are added at: www.biddingforgood.com/smile after January 10th, 2018.
Executive Director's Notes
The past few months have been a whirlwind and I appreciate all of you who have been patient as we changed team members and worked to make your job easier. We are so excited about the NEW ONLINE APPLICATION available on our national website by clicking on "Apply Today" at the top of our homepage. We created the online application to help reduce the amount of administrative duties for our chapters. Please take some time to read the most recent email we sent out about accessing your applications and the 10 minute training video
We would like to welcome our NEW chapters!
They include the following:
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.Looking forward to serving with you in 2018!
Sincerely, Michelle Von Fange M.A.
National Executive Director
Written By: Lydia Palmer
Board Member and Program Coordinator for
NWA Metropolitan Chapter
"Lydia has been a board member with the NWA Metropolitan Chapter in Arkansas for the past two years and has just taken over the administrative role for her chapter. She is also a dental hygienist. Recently we talked over the phone about her work with S4L and she shared some great ideas that we thought our chapters would appreciate! Take a look!! "...Michelle
Von Fange M.A., National Executive Director, Smile for a Lifetime Foundation U.S. & Canada
Are you looking for more applications for your S4L program?
Consider contacting dental hygiene study clubs and your local American Dental Hygiene Association which can be a great way to get the word out about your S4L chapter. Alex Maple and I became board members after it was announced that the NWA S4L needed help with outreach and have referred several children to the program.
Besides referring children to your program, your local dental hygiene club can be a source of revenue for your chapter. For instance, our local Ozark Dental Hygiene Study club has donated to our S4L local chapter for the past three years financially.
Because dental hygienists spend the majority of their appointment with the patient getting to know them and their dental needs, they can be the perfect referral for your program. Many patients have been in my chair and told me about how they wanted braces but could not afford them and were just a few points away from qualifying for free braces with AR kids--Medicaid.
I always keep applications in my room. I fill out the dental hygienist portion while waiting on the dentist to come and check my patient. I give them the complete application to take home with them to fill out. Many do not have access to a computer to fill out or print the application so this solves one barrier.
Find out when your local dental hygienists study club meets, contact the president of the club and set up a time to do a quick presentation. Bring S4L business cards and applications to the meeting. This can sometimes even count as a continuing education event. Dental hygienists will be very excited about this information and will get this information to patients that need help.
If you can set up a time to speak about S4L in your area, the dental hygienist will take care of the rest. We all have big hearts and love to help! Please print out several applications to take with you. Some business cards and the form to be filled out by the dentist/hygienist would be good if you only take online forms.
Another way we get the word out about your S4L program is through the schools. In the fall, we join forces with the Samaritan Center backpack giveaway days in the area. This works well, since the children are pre-screened and we know we are reaching those in need. We set up a booth with our banner to hand out cards and applications for S4L. This has become an annual event with good results. Also, Crest Oral B has been kind and donated toothpaste to give out to the kids stopping by the booth.
And then there is Haley's Story:
Check out you local teen support centers in your community, they are great places to find wonderful young teens that deserve our help. The Rogers AR Teen Action Support Center contacted me about two high schoolers that needed help. I had dropped off a card just a couple of weeks prior.
Haley lived with an older brother and 2 younger siblings with a single mom. The mother had drug issues and did not take care of her children. Haley and her older brother often did not eat so the younger 2 would have food. After many years of neglect and abuse, Haley decided that she had to have help. She now has a sponsor guardian that is helping her have a safe place to stay and food to eat. Her guardian could give her that but could not afford badly needed braces.
I was contacted by the Teen Action Support Center and got an application to Haley. She was picked! Haley has turned her life around. She has gone through the free counseling program at TASC. She completed Upward Bound. She's been accepted to college at the University of Arkansas! In the picture you can see her and our past president, myself and at the All in for Teens TASC fundraiser where she was their featured story. She was brave enough to speak to a room of around 200 people!
You can see from Haley's picture that she is missing tooth 7 and 10. Again S4L and our local dental hygiene study club are coming to the rescue! I reached out to Dr. Blansett, a local periodontist, about Haley and he is going to place implants at no charge. Staff members from Noble Biocare attended Dr. Blansett and White's dental hygiene study club and found out about Haley's needs. They are donating the implants at no charge. Dr. Adam Socia of New Image Dental will also help by restoring the implants with beautiful porcelain crowns.
The Ozark Dental Hygiene Study club has donated $350.00 to the effort and will be keeping this reserved for potential lab costs for Haley and they will be covering any remaining cost! This has truly been a team effort. Haley now has a bright future with a beautiful smile!
Thank You National Sponsors, Donors & Supporters!
A big thank you to our National Sponsors! Ormco who supplies over $100,000 annually in products and also sponsors our annual Smilent Auction each year. We would also like to thank the John McGill Family Fund and OrthoBanc for their generous cash donations that assist us in increasing the number of children we serve annually. In conclusion, we are extremely grateful for our numerous donors, board members, doctors, local chapter screening comittees and staff for their support and service.
Board of Directors
Dr. Donald R. Montano DDS, MSD, President
Bill Holt , Treasurer
S. Richard Levin, Esq., Secretary
John K. McGill, CPA, MBA, JD
Dr. Allan Davis, President
Dr. Paul Korne,VP
Dr. Donald R. Montano, Treasurer
S4L Newsletter Archive