A local centre striving to create smiles needs the community’s help.
The Community Dental Access Centre Society is in the process of renovating rental space at 3107C 31st Avenue for a low-income clinic.
The centre has applied to the Aviva Community Fund, a national competition where a total of $1 million will be awarded to the most popular ideas, chosen by Canadians, that will create positive change in their communities.
You can help create smiles in your community by voting for them at http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf10904.
The process has three rounds with the top 30 ideas of each round moving on to the semi-finals. The first round of voting ends Oct. 19 and you can vote everyday.
“We need your help. Please help us open the clinic,” said Amber Peters, a Lumby resident who has become the poster child for CDAC.
Peters shares her story of the pain of not being able to smile in the centre’s video submission.
“I was made fun of numerous times,” she said, recalling how her tooth decay prompted others to react. “What’s wrong with your teeth? Don’t you know how to brush them?”
Financial barriers prevented Peters from accessing proper dental treatment all her life, which in turn caused other health issues. But thanks to the Community Dental Access Centre Society, along with the generosity of a local dentist and community donations, Peters is now proudly smiling and enjoying a healthier life.
“The community pulled together to pay for my dentures and I’m so grateful for that,” said the young mother of two who is pro-actively doing all she can to ensure her own kids don’t suffer from tooth decay.
But this local girl’s success story isn’t hoped to be the last.
According to the society, 40 per cent of children in the North Okanagan have experienced tooth decay by the time they reach Kindergarten.
Therefore with more than 300 people on the waiting list, the clinic is hoping to open this year. The four-chair, volunteer-run space will have capacity for 3,000 client visits annually and will provide fillings, root canals, urgent treatment, preventative care and more.
“This initiative is to create access to dental care for the low-income families,” said Dominique Berard, CDAC president.
To date, the clinic has raised $300,000 of the $450,000 needed to open the clinic.
For more information, visit www.communitydentalaccess.ca.