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Funding SCV Smiles

The Foundation for Children’s Dental Health celebrates 15 years in SCV with Quinceanera party

Posted: September 20, 2008 8:47 p.m.
Updated: November 22, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Celebrating a special 15th birthday, the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health threw itself a Quinceanera party in the backyard of Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar.

The fundraiser benefited dental services to underprivileged children in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Nearly 130 guests enjoyed a Mexican meal, salsa dancing lessons and performance and fundraising raffle at the Placerita Canyon home of Mayor Bob Kellar on Sept. 13.

Brendie Bandara, board president for the foundation, thanked guests and event sponsors, as well as Kellar, for their support.

“If it wasn’t for Mayor Bob Kellar opening up his home to us we wouldn’t be able to do this,” she said.

Erica Watson, executive director of the foundation, said she was pleased with the turnout.

“We have nearly 130, it’s a great turnout for us,” she said. “This event really helps us with our annual dental clinics. The funds we raise here will go directly to the client services that we will provide throughout the year.”

The foundation is dedicated to providing free dental care, emergency services and oral hygiene education to low-income children and their families in the SCV.

Since its founding in 1993 more than 1,000 children have received nearly $1 million in scheduled dental care and nearly 400 children have received nearly $200,000 in emergency dental care.

“I’ve had opportunity to visit the dental foundation for no less than half dozen times where they were working with children here in the SCV and they were providing treatment for these young people who otherwise would not have dental services,” said Kellar. “As result of that I’m so pleased to be a supporter of this program. I recognize the importance of it for these young kids who otherwise would not have the benefit of dental care.”

During the evening past board president Jim Backer recognized Mary Caravalho and City Manager Ken Pulskamp, founders of the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health.

“I wanted to introduce these people to you because they started a great thing in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Backer said. “What we are doing now is that hopefully we have taken it to another level as we try to treat as many children as we can, children that need our services,” he said.

Caravalho entertained the guests by recounting the early days of the foundation and the efforts to keep the new nonprofit afloat.

“We couldn’t have done it without all of you,” she said. “You have helped alleviate all the children who were in pain, who go to school anyway.”

Pulskamp said the Foundation really started in Caravalho’s kitchen.

“She would cook me diner and I would fill out grants and we’d make it month to month,” said. “I want to thank everyone who has been on our board, because it has always been about the kids, it has never been about anything else but helping the kids.”


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