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In This Issue

A Letter From The President

Wow! That’s the word to describe Smile for a Lifetime since my last president’s message. Our national executive director, Michelle Von Fange, deserves significant praise for all her efforts.

Recent accomplishments include: 

1) 136 S4L Chapters are on board in 41 States and 5 Provinces.

2) A recent national collaborative partnership between CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation.

3) S4L has finalized its expansion into Canada, with chapters developing in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

4) The recent Damon Forum – S4L Fundraiser, “Smilent Auction” raised $100,000 for the foundation, with a significant contribution from the Ormco Corporation.

5) AAO interest in the progress of S4L prompted a conference call to explore the basis of our success and to commend S4L for expanding access to care in North America.

6) Our existing collaboration with The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is off to a successful start.

7) Awarded our first college scholarship of $3000.00 to a S4L Scholar Alumni, Ryan Lopez. He will be attending Fresno Community College in the coming winter semester to pursue a career in Fire Science. Ryan is currently in treatment with Dr. Pat DiCiccio of DiCiccio Orthodontics in Fresno, California.  

I’m pleased with the recent Foundation developments. The Smile for a Lifetime Foundation is near to my heart and I’m extremely proud of all your contributions to the underserved children of North America. 

In case you believe that Michelle Von Fange and I have accomplished all of the above alone, please be aware of our gratitude to the National Foundation’s Board of Directors for their faithful service and support. I’m particularly pleased to announce a recent addition to the board, Brandy Lewis, Senior Marketing Manager at Ormco Corporation. I especially want to express my deep gratitude to our National sponsors: the Ormco Corporation and Televox Corporation. We couldn’t do it without you!! 

The Smile for a Lifetime Foundation is growing quickly; I encourage AAO members that are not already involved with S4L, to consider joining our successful organization.

W. Ronald Redmond, DDS, MS, FACD

President, Smile for a Lifetime Foundation

Dr. Robert Sheffield’s Story

Case One

When Renee’s mother dropped off her Smile For a Lifetime (S4L)scholarship application, she expressed sincere hope that her daughter might be selected. She described the relentless teasing of her daughter by classmates who called her “lizard face.” She said her daughter hated to go to school. On the day Renee was surprised with her scholarship, she broke into a huge smile and said, “They won’t be able to tease me anymore.” Her mother broke down in tears, thanking everyone for saving her daughter from her classmates’ taunts. Renee is full of life at each appointment, and we all enjoy seeing a patient so appreciative and deserving of one of our S4L scholarships. Renee is the embodiment of what the S4L foundation is all about.

Case Two

When Ashley and her mother came to the office for the screening visit prior to the final selection process, her mother explained that they’d been saving for orthodontic treatment for a year, but the unexpected death of Ashley’s father prevented them from pursuing treatment. They were so excited to hear about the S4L Foundation. Ashley rarely smiled, but the opportunity for orthodontic treatment has made a difference. Her mother says she smiles all the time and approaches life with renewed confidence. She brought in Ashley’s senior portrait, and said that when she asked Ashley about the option to “digitally remove the braces” Ashley said, “No, I want to leave them on; they are part of my story.”

I consider myself extremely fortunate to practice the profession of orthodontics. I believe loving what we do provides us with the excitement to begin each day with enthusiasm. I enjoy going to the office each day because I know it will always present new and exciting challenges. I am fortunate to work with a talented and dedicated team who are passionate about helping others. Dentistry and orthodontics in particular, is a profession where we can make a significant difference in people’s lives. We do orthodontics every day, and to have patients so thrilled to be treated is such an uplifting experience that it fills my entire spirit. All of our patients are happy to get their braces off, but I think the S4L scholarship winners are more thrilled to get them on. Like many orthodontists, I frequently provided pro bono treatment for some patients at the request of colleagues, local teachers, or the dental society. However, there was no structure to our program, and our efforts were not focused. Like many people we have been impacted by the decline in the economy, our area suffered more than most from the housing bubble, and consequently, many current patients suffered financial hardship. Many prospective patients found that orthodontic treatment had to take a back seat to mortgage payments and food for the family. I got caught up in the “poor me” mindset regarding the economy and continued to reminisce about the good old days. However, I finally grew tired of all the negative news and stories of sadness and loss and decided I needed to figure out a way to do something positive for the community and our practice psyche. Dr. Don Montano shared his involvement with the S4L Foundation with me, and his presentation of the scholarship recipients in his office moved me to tears. I realized that making the effort to start a chapter and provide orthodontic treatment to deserving children in the community could create a positive buzz. What I didn’t realize was the amazing impact S4L would have on me personally. We launched our chapter in April 2011. I am so very grateful to have a board comprised of nine local community members, former patients, business leaders, and dental professionals who take an active role in our chapter. We awarded seven scholarships in 2011 and just had our fall 2012 board meeting, selecting six more recipients and bringing our 2012 total to 13 awardees. Our chapter is committed to awarding 12 scholarships every year.

The day we surprised the recipients and their parents with their scholarships are easily some of the most memorable days of my professional career. Some kids are quiet, some scream with joy, and everyone cries! I’ve always known that orthodontics can make a difference, but listening to some of our scholarship recipients tell of the relentless teasing and bullying they’ve experienced due to the appearance of their teeth breaks my heart. Having a child tell you braces will save her life was never something I thought I would hear. Watching the change in our scholarship recipient’s personalities provides continual joy to me and my team and reaffirms our commitment to this program.

I view the S4L Foundation as an opportunity to create a grassroots movement for positive change. Our recipients and their families are very thankful and regularly tell us so. I use each of those moments to remind the kids that I expect them to help others now and in the future; to remember to use their talents and resources to help others. I like to compare it to the commercial that shows people observing a good deed and then doing one themselves, and it is continually paid forward.

I applaud all the orthodontists who have stepped up to be a part of this organization. I’d like to thank Dr. Don Montano for sharing his story with me, and Todd Blanton from Ormco, a S4L Board member, for giving me the final push while we were out playing golf one day. I am continually humbled by the gratitude of the scholarship winners and their families, and thankful that I made the effort to use my time and talents to help our community in this fashion, because my professional career will never be the same.

Dr Sheffield HeadshotDr. Robert Sheffield is a native Californian and East Bay resident. He was born in Oakland and raised in Walnut Creek. His family was from Antioch and has strong ties to the area. Dr. Sheffield attended Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. He continued his education at UCLA graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Political Science. He then attended UCLA School of Dentistry graduating with honors. Dr. Sheffield continued at UCLA for his specialty training, completing a combined residency in both Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry. He served as Chief Resident of Orthodontics at UCLA Medical Center. During that time, he worked extensively with the craniofacial team, and developed and directed the first clinical trials in Distraction Osteogenesis at the UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Sheffield has given research presentations on facial esthetics and distraction osteogenesis at the American Dental Association and American Association of Orthodontists annual meetings. He is a member of the Delta Study Club, the Contra Costa Dental Society, American Dental Association, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, the American Association of Orthodontists and is a Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Cristie. They have three children, Courtney, Ryan “Ryno,” and Kaitlyn.

About Smile for a Lifetime Foundation The Smile for a Lifetime (S4L) Foundation’s mission is “to create self-confidence, inspire hope, and change the lives of young people in a dramatic way” through the gift of a smile. S4L changes lives one smile at a time! If you are an orthodontist interested in using your time and talents to make a difference in a young person’s life, please contact Michelle at or visit to learn more about how you can serve.

CASA & S4L Partnership Announced


Deserving Children Have Opportunity to Receive Free Orthodontic Care

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 27, 2013)—The Smile for a Lifetime Foundation (S4L), an  international nonprofit organization that provides orthodontic care and free braces to underserved children with financial challenges and special orthodontic needs, announced today that it has partnered with the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association to help S4L chapters throughout North America find qualified applicants for their local orthodontic scholarship programs. Through S4L’s partnership with National CASA, young people who are served by the 946 CASA programs across the country will have the opportunity to learn about S4L and apply for its orthodontic treatment scholarships.

“These scholarships provided by S4L will impact young lives across the country,” said National CASA Association CEO Michael Piraino.  “The stories of disparity and need we hear of the 662,000 abused and neglected children in the child welfare system are unbelievable.  This new partnership opens the door to reach many children in need, and we hope that others join us on the journey to support a vulnerable population that so desperately needs it.”

S4L was founded in 2008 by Dr. Benjamin Burris in an effort to link children and teens of low-income families with pro-bono orthodontic scholarships. Since its inception, the foundation has treated more than 1000 children who could not afford braces and has grown to an international nonprofit organization that currently serves more than 137 chapters in 42 states and Canada. Local orthodontists form S4L chapters in the communities they serve and individually treat six or more young people annually. Local CASA staff members are encouraged to nominate members ages 11-18 who would benefit from the S4L program by visiting  .

“Finances should never stop a child from achieving the dream of a straight smile and S4L is committed to touching the lives of our youth by awarding thousands of orthodontic scholarships to deserving kids,” said S4L National Board President Dr. Ronald Redmond. “Given our shared goal of fostering self-confidence among our nation’s youth, we believe our partnership with National CASA is the perfect union for providing our nation’s young people with a brighter future.”

S4L scholarships are funded through local orthodontists and primary sponsor Ormco Corporation—a leading manufacturer and provider of advanced orthodontic technology and services. Ormco provides the orthodontist with the braces used for treating each S4L scholarship recipient.

For more information on S4L’s partnership with National CASA and further details on the orthodontic scholarship application process, please contact Michelle Von Fange at 719-535-2777 or

About National CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 946 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. The only program of its kind, CASA volunteers are empowered by the courts to provide children with one-on-one advocacy. CASA volunteers see their assigned children regularly and interview all the adults who impact their lives. Volunteer advocates offer judges the critical information they need to ensure each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care, staying with the child until she is placed in a loving permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.

About Smile for a Lifetime Foundation

The mission of S4L is to create self-confidence, inspire hope and change the lives of children in their communities in a dramatic way. The gift of a smile can do all this for a deserving, underserved individual who, in turn, can use this gift to better themselves and their community. During treatment, many S4L local chapters also encourage scholarship recipients to participate in community service through a “pay it forward” program inspiring young people to participate in lifelong giving.   

Currently, there are 137 chapters serving 42 states across North America with movement to increase those numbers to more than 200 chapters, covering 50 states and Canada in the next five years. Each chapter commits to serve at least six or more young people annually. By the end of 2013, some 800 to 1,000 young people will have received the gift of a smile with $4 million to $6 million of orthodontic services donated.

Share Your Story Winner

We would like to announce our first place winner of the "Share Your Story" contest held every quarter for our S4L Scholars!

Amber Guy

About You:: My name is Amber Guy, I am 18 years old and a senior at Parkwood high school in Monroe North Carolina. Here is a little about me, I love to paint. I get good grades in school and I plan on going to college when I graduate. I'm in the Anti-Bully coalition (ABC) at my school. And I love to try new things.

Community Involvement: Copy: I want to do something in life that has to do with working with people that have special needs and disabilities. I have always had a place for them in my heart, I volunteer at a place called LifeSpan, there they teach people with special needs activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, reading, writing and so much more. I teach painting, pottery and knitting classes there. The smile on their faces when they finish a painting or a scarf makes it all worth while. I volunteer at the Christmas bureau, helping give out coats and toys to the people that need them. And I also Volunteered at a Spring festival one year, there I did a game booth for the kids.

Importance:: My hobbies and volunteering is important to me because, it's things I like to do. And its both awarding for me and the people that I help.

Future Plans: 5 years from now I see myself with my own family and a good paying job. And in 10 years I hope to have my own business like Life Span so that I can make a difference in peoples lives like they have. 

Pay It Forward: I want to tell people about my story and how Smile for a Lifetime changed my life so that maybe they will know someone like me that needs help but can't seem to get any where. I know how it feels to have a crooked smile and not want to talk to anyone because of it. I would not wish that on anyone. I want to get the word around about Smile for a Lifetime so that people like me will know there is help out there and to never give up. I also give back to my community doing my volunteer work.

Meaning of Braces: I had always been that person at school that no one knows is there. I always avoided talking to anyone or looking at anyone because I didn't want them to judge me on my appearance. I didn't smile and I never laughed so that I wouldn't get people attention to look at me. I would hear people talk about me and how messed up my teeth were, I was bullied. I had been to orthodontist before and they all told me that my case was too severe and they didn't want to help me. Then after all that I lost my dental insurance and stopped looking for someone to help me. One day my parents decided to see if we could maybe afford the payments for braces and went to Dr.Starr and Dr.Dickens Orthodontics. They had been the first to have faith in me and was willing to help. I had my hopes up until we found out in order to afford the payments every month we would have to discontinue a lot of things in our house and move to a cheaper place. Then in October of 2012 I went to get my annual cleaning at my dentist and he had gotten a letter that day telling him about Smile for a Lifetime and he told me about it. It just so happened that Dr.Starr & Dr.Dickens were the orthodontist doing it. I was so excited I went home and filled out the application and the next morning my dad took it up there. He walked in on a meeting about which candidates they were going to pick next and left they application. He had gotten about half way home and they called and said for me to come in. I am so blessed to have this braces scholarship, it has completely changed my life. I got my braces on in May of 2012. Since then I have made some friends and I speak up in class with no shame of how I look. I have even lost 60 pounds since I got my braces on. Not too long ago for the first time I went out with a friend I had made. I don't have self esteem issues any more and I love life. Thank you all so much for helping me out it means the world to me. You have given me a chance, that's all I had been asking for. I can't thank you enough.

We have several entries and would like to thank you for your fabulous stories. Please see their names and photos below.

2nd:  SaKya House

SaKya received her gift of braces from Dr. Anthony Harwell Jr.

SaKya says, “I used to smile with my month closed. After getting braces, my teeth don't stick out and the spaces are not as bad. I now feel happy to smile and show my teeth. My uncle died and I got the call that I got the scholarship after he died. I think he helped me get braces from heaven.”

3rd: Erica FrazierErica 3rd place share your story

Erica received her gift of braces from Dr. Benjamin Burris. 

Erica says, "I was the girl who never smiled; I didn't like what I looked like without braces! Dr. Burris, made my dream come true to get the perfect smile; it's still a work in progress! But I am smiling finally and I am so thankful for him! But through this journey I have become friends with my orthodontist and his employees!"


Honorable Mention: Ryan Camp

Ryan received his gift of braces from Dr. Benjamin Burris. 

Ryan says, "I love that im getting braces because my teeth really need to be fixed. Its made a difference because i know that they're going to do the best job they can in making my teeth straight."


Televox Spotlight 2013

Dr Clarke awards Jordan with S4L Scholarship

Our TeleVox Spotlight S4L Scholar this Spring is Jordan DeLeon who is a patient of Dr. Clarke Stevens of Orthodontic Associates in Omaha, Nebraska. Jordan was recommended to the local S4L program by Ivan Gilreath, President & CEO of the local Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The national offices of Smile for a Lifetime and the BGCA work together to refer children to local S4L chapters for orthodontic scholarship consideration.

Jordan's mom, Kathleen DeLeon and Boys & Girls Club Executive Director, Ivan Gilreath.

In Jordan’s recommendation letter, Gilreath shared, “Jordan is a young man of impeccable character and goodwill. I would highly recommend him for the S4L program.” Mr Gilreath has been a mentor for Jordan at Kellom Elementary school through the Boys to Men Book club.

Jordan's mom shares, "being a single parent you want the best for your child, for them to have great confidence about themselves. I feel that the S4L scholarship that he has been awarded will bring his confidence up and he will not be ashamed of smiling or speaking in front of others."

During the past two years, Jordan has faced some hardships in his life including the loss of his father and grandmother. Despite these past hardships, Jordan volunteers with his local “Free to Breathe Walk” supporting lung cancer research and awareness every year and also volunteers at local hospitals and retirements homes assisting the elderly. He enjoys playing basketball, hopes to attend college someday and major in computer science. Congratulations Jordan!

Dr. Clarke Stevens has been practicing orthodontics in Omaha since 1980. He graduated from the University of Nebraska Dental College. Dr. Stevens earned his Masters Degree in Orthodontics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists, as well as an Assistant Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Nebraska for twelve years. He was the Director of the Dento-facial Program for patients needing orthodontics and jaw surgery. He has also taught at the Creighton University Dental College. Dr. Stevens is the creator of his patented WildSmiles Brackets, which are orthodontic brackets shaped like hearts, stars, soccer balls, flowers, footballs and diamonds. Dr. Stevens is active in many professional and civic organizations.

New Beginnings

Meet Ryan Lopez | Casting Call Winner

Fresno, CA student, Ryan Lopez, has an inspiring story and an amazing smile transformation thanks to Smile for a Lifetime Foundation and orthodontist Dr. Pat DiCiccio. The few minutes it takes to view this video are well worth it. Produced by VisionTrust Communications.