UK dentists to hold fundraiser to restore smiles of abuse victims

Members of the American Association of Women Dentists at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry are preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year benefiting neglected and abused domestic violence victims.

The UK Fall Fashion Show, Brunch, and Silent Auction will be held from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the UK Student Center Grand Ballroom. The Master of Ceremonies will be Kristen Kennedy from WKYT 27 News.

The event began seven years ago by Dr. Erin Langfels to raise funds for victims of domestic violence so that they would be able to receive dental care for no cost to them at the UK College of Dentistry.

“I am extremely proud of our students for not only raising a significant amount of money to help victims of domestic violence, but also for helping to shine a bright light on a very ugly problem,” said Sharon Turner, dean of the College of Dentistry. “The more awareness we can raise about domestic violence, the more impact we can have in helping its victims and preventing countless unnecessary injuries and deaths.”

Kelly Goodpaster, president of the AAWD at UK says that the funds raised at the annual Fall Fashion Show allows members to learn patient management, but more importantly, help women both physically and emotionally as they restore their self-confidence and smile.

“The experience of helping these women in the clinic as well as in the community has brought a lot of happiness and purpose to my time in dental school and has left a lasting impression on my heart,” she said. “Our AAWD members treat these women in our own UK Student Clinic, which is a unique experience that not only benefits these women’s lives directly, but also impacts our members by giving them the skill of learning how to treat a patient that has been through a difficult situation.”

In addition to the fashion show, the event includes brunch and silent auction. All proceeds from the event go directly to the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Center where the money is earmarked for individuals and families entering the center to be able to receive much needed dental care due to oral trauma and neglect. Since its inception seven years ago, the event has raised more than $50,000 which has gone to pay for much needed extractions, tooth replacement and even cancer treatment for some victims.

“The fundraiser is a fun way to bring the community together and raise awareness and money to help make a difference in people’s lives,” said Darlene Thomas, executive director of the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Center. “In the past seven years, this program has not only made a difference but it even saved one woman’s life.”

A full brunch buffet will be served by UK Catering

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Service during the silent auction. Auction items include basketball tickets, discounted or free treatments from local dental offices, massage and spa packages, gift certificates from local restaurants, photography sessions, and a Kitchen Aide mixer. The fashion show to follow will include the latest looks from Bella Rose, Lexington Angler, Lily Pulitzer, Gap, Francesca’s Collections, Calypso, Alumni Hall and Ann Taylor. All the models in the fashion show will be styled by Cha Cha’s. Additionally, there are many fantastic door prizes available, and each guest will receive a bag full of coupons and samples at the fashion show portion of the event.

Whitney Deitz, president-elect of the AAWD at UK for 2015, said that treating a patient from the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Center is one of the best experiences of her dental school career.

“It is an amazing privilege to be part of an organization of women helping women and an even more personally rewarding privilege to be the student dentist who gets to give a fellow woman back her smile after years in a domestic abuse situation,” Deitz said. “It’s moments like this and opportunities like these that remind me why I have chosen dentistry.”

“I think we all want to make a difference in our corner of the world,” Deitz said. “Every woman deserves a smile that inspires self-confidence; we want to help give that to other women.”


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