Dental Tribune USA

OHA Gala and Benefit: Dentistry’s night to shine

By Fred Michmershuizen, DTA
February 26, 2016

CHICAGO, Ill, USA: Oral Health America sure knows how to throw a party. “Mardi Gras Redux” was the theme for the 26th annual OHA Gala and Benefit, held Wednesday night at Navy Pier. Despite the snow and wind and the turbulent waters of Lake Michigan churning up trouble outside, it was all fun — and fund-raising — at this annual event, which is widely considered one of the dental industry’s social highlights of the year.

At the cocktail reception, partygoers showed off their festive attire, party beads and masks while rubbing elbows with each other and checking out the many items up for auction. After everyone had a chance to enjoy a cocktail or two, guests were escorted into the AON Ballroom in a Mardi Gras-style “second line” parade for the program — then dinner and dancing.

Dr. Michael C. Alfano was honored with the OHA’s 2016 Gala Tribute Award, which was presented by Dr. Frank Catalanotto, chairman of the board of Oral Health America. Stanley Bergman, chairman of the board and CEO of Henry Schein Inc., introduced Alfano.

Dr. George Zehak, president of the Chicago Dental Society, offered the evening’s welcoming remarks, and 2016 Gala Co-Chairs Josh Daab and Dr. Jackeline Argandona-Daab offered thank-yous. OHA President and CEO Beth Truett offered million-dollar-donor recognition, which was accepted by Dr. Fotinos Panagakos and Dr. Barbara Shearer of Colgate-Palmolive.

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Mistress of ceremonies was vocalist Caitlin Simone, who was backed by the Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra.

Now in its 61st year, OHA seeks to improve access to oral care, to improve oral health literacy and to advocate for public policy that helps vulnerable Americans. OHA’s Smiles Across America program, just one of many OHA initiatives, reaches nearly half a million school-aged children annually. It’s generous industry support that makes it all possible.


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