Rotary receives donation for Smiles for Veterans program

The Rotary Club of The Villages-Evening Chapter recently received a $2,000 donation for its Smiles for Veterans Dental Program from the Lake and Sumter Counties Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Dusty Rhodes, a retired Navy commander who is also a member of the Rotary Club, made the presentation at a recent meeting.

Dusty Rhodes (center), of the Military Officers Association of America, presents a $2,000 donation to Jim Bodenne (right), chair of the Rotary Club of The Villages-Evening’s Smiles for Veterans program. Also pictured is Evening Rotary President Sue Bodenner.

The Smiles for Veterans initiative provides dental care to low-income veterans at Langley Health Services. Program president Jim Bodenner said Smiles for Veterans has provided dental assistance to more than 250 veterans in Sumter, Citrus and Marion counties. “With donations like MOAA, we were able to help with the cost of dentures for some of these veterans, following multiple extractions,” Bodenner said.

The total cost for each of their procedures ranged from $92 to $1,295, however, veterans only pay $5 for each visit. The Smiles for Veterans Fund grants cover the difference between this and the Langley Health Services sliding scale fee.

“Langley is proud to be part of this program,” said Operations Manager Paul Quinn. “You cannot imagine the difference that necessary dental care makes to the health and quality of life of veterans. Our dentists can see the transformation and joy when the veteran sees their new smile. »

The Evening Rotary Club partnered with Langley Health Services, the Sunshine State Veterans Fund, and the Summer Glen Veterans Club to create the fund in 2018. Since then, other organizations have contributed, including the Rotary Club of The Villages chapter- Morning and the MOAA.

Organizations or individuals wishing to help support these deserving veterans, contact Jim Bodenne (616-866-8180) or Dusty Rhodes (352-571-8292). Click for more information on the program.

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