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Fern Ingber, left, presents the NCOHF’s Affiliate of the Year award to Margaret Snellings of Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Pediatric Dentistry. (DTI/Photo Fred Michmershuizen, Dental Tribune)
Feb 22, 2013 | News USA

Heroes for children

by Fred Michmershuizen, DTA

CHICAGO, Ill., USA: For friends and supporters of the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America’s ToothFairy, it was time to celebrate during the 148th Chicago Midwinter Meeting. The organization, which is dedicated to the elimination of childhood tooth decay, held its annual “Celebration of Smiles” event at the Hyatt Regency, and some of the dental industry’s most dedicated and caring individuals were in attendance.

Dr. Gordon Christensen, a member of the NCOHF’s board, served as master of ceremonies. He shared photos and videos highlighting the various NCOHF initiatives. He also encouraged company officials, dental professionals and students to get involved in the organization’s various programs and activities through product and financial donations, volunteer work and outreach initiatives.

Fern Ingber, NCOHF president and CEO, thanked those in attendance for their support. She presented the organization’s Affiliate of the Year award to the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Margaret Snellings, who accepted the award, got into the spirit of the event by appearing on stage dressed as the ToothFairy.

The highlight of the evening came when Savannah Robinson, a 14-year-old girl who has benefited from NCOHF’s work, told her personal story. Savannah was mocked and bullied because of her bad teeth and a crooked smile, but her family lacked the financial resources to do anything to help her. A director of her local Boys & Girls Club recommended Savannah for NCOHF’s Tomorrow’s SMILES program, and now she is receiving life-changing care from Dr. Mario Paz, a volunteer dentist.

Savannah, an aspiring singer, performed the song “Beautiful,” in honor of other children whose lives are impacted by the effects of tooth decay.


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