Mission Statement: To provide braces/dental work free of charge to the youth in our community who cannot afford to pay for them.
The Smiles for Life program began in 2008 as a Rotary project put forth by then-president Joe Shammas. It was Joe’s idea that children who need braces to improve their smiles should not be denied this self-esteem-building procedure due to an inability to pay for it. Joe felt lucky enough to have gotten braces when he was young and it changed his life. “I was shy about my smile and needed braces badly. I’ve always appreciated the gift of braces, even though at the time I hardly thought of it as a gift—more like a curse! But once the braces came off, boy was I a happy guy. It is so important to one’s confidence to have a good smile. In this spirit, I’ve always wanted to be able to give the gift of braces to someone who couldn’t afford them.”
Dr. Brian Lackey, Pacific Grove dentist and past president of PG Rotary, and Dr. Chad Cassidy, a local orthodontist, bought into the idea immediately and agreed to provide their services free of charge. The only expense is the cost of materials. Pacific Grove Rotary members provided the first donations for materials for the first recipients. So far, there have been three recipients who were 16, 12, and 10 respectively when they came into the program. They have done beautifully, as the photos show.
Raising funds for this program is ongoing and the community is invited to participate. If you’d like to invest in the beautiful smiles of those less fortunate in our community, please send a check to:
Smiles for Life
c/o Pacific Grove Travel
593 Lighthouse Ave.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Make check payable to Pacific Grove Rotary, with Smiles for Life in the memo.
Pacific Grove Rotary is a 501(c)3 organization.