Doctors bike coast to coast to give smiles to kids in need
BAKERSFIELD, Calif., USA: For Dr. Don Montano and Dr. Robert Relle, an orthodontist and a maxillofacial surgeon, respectively, creating smiles is more than a career, it is their passion and their calling. They know first-hand that crooked teeth are the No. 1 target for bullies and can scar a child for life.
They also know there are thousands of families who cannot afford orthodontic treatment and an equal number of dental and medical professionals who want to help.
Committed to supporting families across the country who want to give their children healthy smiles, these two friends and avid cyclists are biking across the U.S. to raise funds and awareness for Smile for a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization that connects kids in need with orthodontic specialists who donate treatment and other dental services.
Both residents of Southern California, Montano and Relle were planning to kick off their historic “Creating Smiles One Mile at A Time” fund-raising ride at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. Averaging 100 miles a day and taking approximately five weeks, they were planning to ride along historic US Route 66 and eventually finish in Virginia Beach, Va. They are being accompanied by two additional cyclists and a support vehicle.
“We are committed to helping children in need get their best possible smile,” said Montano, in a press release issued by Smile 4 a Lifetime. “The joy of watching a child gain self-confidence and go from hiding their smile to grinning from ear to ear is the most gratifying thing in the world. Smile for a Lifetime makes it happen.”
Corporate sponsorships are available, and donations for as little as $1 per mile are gratefully accepted. Smile for a Lifetime is also seeking dental and medical professionals who would like to be part of the network helping families in need.
More information, including which the towns the cyclists will be passing through, is available online, at www.SmileforALifetime.org or by calling (719) 535-2777.
Smile for a Lifetime is an international program that provides orthodontic care to children and young adults who normally would not be able to afford treatment. Smile for a Lifetime does not charge for the orthodontic treatment — participating orthodontists and orthodontic manufacturing companies provide free services, including the cost of one set of retainers. The only cost a family will incur is an initial $500 investment/application fee to help cover the cost of the program. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the nonprofit has provided more than $44 million in services to-date, according to the press release.
(Source: Smile for a Lifetime)