Miles for Smiles raises $16,000
With a turnout of almost 100 people, and numerous donations from people and organizations across Dallas, this year’s Miles for Smiles event raised more than $16,000 to provide dental care to patients in need.
The annual event, organized by the UT Dallas Pre-Dental Association and benefiting Texas A&M School of Dentistry, was held April 1 at Exall Park. The money goes to the school’s Social Services Dental Care Fund, according to Tony Keller, administrative associate with the Office of Social Services. The social services fund provides financial assistance to patients who run into issues mid-treatment that require more intensive, and costly, treatment. A patient could be budgeted for a filling, for example, but instead it turns out they need a root canal. That is where the fund comes in, to help these patients if they need financial assistance.
“We have an organization full of kind and driven individuals, and I’m excited to see them build on the momentum created from the past 13 years of Miles for Smiles to take it to new heights,” said Vivian Tran, president of the UTD pre-dental association. “We’re grateful to have had so much support. From our friends to donors to dental faculty, the excitement and passion for Miles for Smiles has been incredible.”
Miles for Smiles raised a total of $16,149.35, according to Tran. Aside from walking, this year’s Miles for Smiles featured a day of field games, raffles and free food, as well as a partnership with Dallas Park & Recreation for an Easter egg hunt. Last year’s Miles for Smiles raised about $9,500, the first held since a brief hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’ve raised this kind of money in the past, but they would get a large chunk of it from a main donor, like a bank or something,” Keller said. “My understanding is that they didn’t have anything like that this year. The donations were from a wider range of people and organizations. It really shows the support they’re getting from everywhere.”
Ryan Eldin, vice president of the pre-dental association, said the group learned a lot reviving Miles for Smiles post-COVID, and those lessons led to a great turnout this year.
“It’s so awesome seeing all our members and community actively participate and work to make a difference in the DFW area and at Texas A&M School of Dentistry,” he said.