Grantee Spotlight: Heber/Overgaard Ponderosa Lions Club

The Tooth Fairy teach good oral health habits at the Lion's Club. Photo courtesy of the Ponderosa Lion's Club.

The Tooth Fairy teaches good oral health habits at the Lions Club. Photo courtesy of the Ponderosa Lion’s Club.

As a state urgently in need of dental care for the underserved and uninsured, Arizona is lucky to have service organizations like the Ponderosa Lions Club, a grantee of Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation, working towards a solution.

Founded in 1917, the Lions Clubs are the world’s largest service organization with 1.35 million volunteer members. Founded in 2005, the Ponderosa Lions Club has committed to serve the community by improving vision, hearing and other challenging needs, dental needs included.

And it all started with one little toothache.

The Ponderosa Lions Club program to improve smiles in the Heber/Overgaard area started small. A young girl in a Girl Scout meeting informed a member of the Lions Club of her family’s inability to drive her to the dentist. With many parents working full time, transportation to the dentist was a concern of local families. The Lions Club stepped in to help fill this need.

As the Lions Club began to understand the unmet need of oral health services and education, the decision to start the Children’s Dental Health Awareness Program was made.

Today, the Lions Club has a detailed plan to reach more than 565 students in underserved areas in the eastern Mountains of Arizona. Their belief lies in the simple fact that unless a child has the knowledge of how to take care of their teeth, there will not be any motivation to do so.

The Children’s Dental Health Awareness Program includes a school year of educational presentations, an oral health drawing contest and several puppet shows to exhibit good oral health habits. For more information about the program and the Tooth Fairy, please visit their website.

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3 Responses to “Grantee Spotlight: Heber/Overgaard Ponderosa Lions Club”

  1. Lion Doug Harris
    10/08/2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Thank you so very much for featuring Ponderosa Lions Club in your “GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT”.
    We would have never reached our oral health education awareness goals without the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation grant!

    • Leah Martinez →
      10/15/2013 at 7:32 am #

      We are proud to be associated with a great organization who is working towards the same goal as we are!

      • Lion Doug Harris
        10/15/2013 at 8:14 pm #

        Ponderosa Lions Club has an oral health professional support system in the Northeastern Arizona Oral Health Coalition headed up by Connie Baine. It was through the Navajo, Apache and Gila County Oral Health Coalition that we were introduced to Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation.

        In the next three years, Ponderosa Lions Club and Foundation will be expanding into both
        Coconino and Yavapai Counties with the ‘Children’s Dental Health Awareness Program’.

        The responses from county schools (public and private), libraries and Federal Agencies like ‘Head Start’
        from the ‘Tooth Fairy’ oral health education sessions have been overwhelming!

        Thank you again Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation for making this happen!

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