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Volunteers lauded in Orlando

Volunteers lauded in Orlando
Child's play: A couple of youngsters autograph one of the exhibits in the Volunteer Celebration area in Orlando.

Orlando, Fla.—Whatever the donation, be it time or money, the 2010 annual session celebrated its loyal volunteers.

For three days in Orlando, dental philanthropists whose efforts help create smiles worldwide were honored in the Volunteer Celebration Area in the ADA World Marketplace Exhibition.

The special exhibit was sponsored by the ADA, ADA Foundation, SS White Burs and the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Board and committee members, and was designed to laud dentistry’s heroes: GKAS program participants; donors who contribute to the ADA/Health Volunteers Overseas Adopt-a-Practice: Rebuilding Dental Offices in Haiti campaign; corporate donors and sponsors of charitable dental programs; and volunteers who participate in countless other programs causes in their own communities or in remote areas abroad.

"Dental team and industry volunteerism is at an all time high," said Steve Kess, vice president, Henry Schein Global Professional Relations and chair of the GKAS National Advisory Board. "All of the programs helped address local, regional or national needs and collectively represent a cross section of innovation and commitment of public and private programs. It was a truly inspiring exhibit and reinforced the need for proper resources to address this national unmet need."

The Volunteer Celebration Area was also a hub for dental professionals interested in learning how they can make a difference.

"I think it was a great concept," said Dr. Sally Hewett, chair, ADA International Development Subcommittee. "We made supportive contacts and shared ideas from interactions with the other groups. It was good visible access for people interested in learning new opportunities for donating or volunteering."

The tent that was displayed was donated to the organization Tents for Haiti and will be used as a future classroom in Haiti. It was meant to give volunteers a feel for what they might encounter when volunteering in another country and was used to promote the Adopt-a-Practice: Rebuilding Dental Offices in Haiti campaign.

Col. Nasrin Mazuji, a U.S. Army dentist who was moved to donate $1,000, said she was inspired by her friend and fellow dentist, Dr. Rhonda Martini of Georgia, who has volunteered in Haiti.

"Since I cannot currently volunteer," said Col. Mazuji who is currently stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, "I decided to donate money instead to help build the infrastructure. Simple story."

For more information or to donate to the Adopt-a-Practice campaign, visit www.ada.org.4412.aspx. At press time, total donations for the campaign exceeded $72,000.

For more information on GKAS and other domestic volunteer opportunities, visit www.givekidsasmile.ada.org.

To learn about international dental volunteer opportunities, visit the ADA International Volunteer website at http://internationalvolunteer.ada.org or contact the ADA Division of Global Affairs, 1-312-440-2726 or international@ada.org.

To donate to the ADA Foundation’s GKAS fund, contact the Foundation by e-mail at adaf@ada.org.

The programs featured at the Volunteer Celebration Area were:

  • ADA Give Kids A Smile Program;
  • America’s Dentists Care Foundation (Missions of Mercy);
  • Health Volunteers Overseas;
  • ADA American Indian/Alaska Native Dental Placement Program;
  • TeamSmile;
  • National Museum of Dentistry;
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Head Start Dental Home Initiative;
  • Colgate Bright Smiles Bright Futures Program;
  • ADA National Children’s Dental Health Month;
  • Smiles Change Lives;
  • National Association of School Nurses.

Drs. Wing Djaya and Bill A. Octave learn about Health Volunteers Overseas from Dr. Jack Levine
Global education: From left, Drs. Wing Djaya and Bill A. Octave learn about Health Volunteers Overseas from Dr. Jack Levine, member, ADA International Development Subcommittee and HVO volunteer, and Nancy Kelly, HVO executive director, during the 2010 annual session last month in Orlando.