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Richmond GKAS continues to grow


Sunny smiles: Even though Feb. 8 was a rainy day in Richmond, Va., Hwra’a Als’aeig, a pre-dental student at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a young participant brighten the day with smiles at the Give Kids A Smile Richmond event.

Volunteers: Dr. Kit Sullivan, left, and dental hygienist Mandy Karby help two boys feel at ease.
Richmond, Va
.—A rainy day didn't keep children and volunteers from sharing sunny smiles during the 11th Give Kids A Smile Richmond event at the ACCA Temple Shrine.

A total of 187 volunteers provided more than 500 children with dental screenings, cleanings and fluoride varnish. Local television news anchor Stephanie Rochon, honorary chairperson, also attended the event. Collaborators include the Virginia Dental Association, Richmond Dental Society, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, Richmond Public Schools, ACCA Shriners, Delta Dental and others.

About 100 children presented with one to three cavities and 18 had more than three carious lesions. Children identified as needing follow-up care will receive free treatment coordinated through the Richmond Dental Society.

"These efforts by all of the volunteers as well as corporate sponsors demonstrate the strength of the Richmond Dental Society and show what a powerful force our members can be when they collaborate on a project," said Dr. Chris R. Richardson, RDS president. 


In line: Children wait to be seen during the Richmond event. Volunteers saw more than 500 children.

Guest appearance: Participants were treated to a visit by the tooth fairy, orthodontic assistant Barrett Lamdin.
"I would encourage each and every one of our members to take some time from their otherwise very hectic lives and volunteer at a GKAS or Mission of Mercy project, Dr. Richardson added. "You will have such a significant impact on the person for whom you are providing the care, and you will be surprised at what a meaningful impact they will have on you. As one of my mentors, Dr. Preston Miller, once said, 'Maintain your resolve, evolve and be involved.'"

Statewide, more than 7,000 volunteers have provided more than $3.5 million in free dental services in the past 11 years, Dr. Richardson said.

"As the access to care issue continues to be discussed, this program is a positive bright light in that ongoing discussion," he said.


Group effort: The 187 GKAS Richmond volunteers fill a room at the ACCA Temple Shrine in Richmond. Photos by Bill Geiger