Smile for a Lifetime was founded in 2008 with the aim of reaching individuals with financial challenges, special situations and orthodontic needs. The foundation reaches out to hundreds of patients each year through local chapters across the country.
Benson and Smile for a Lifetime are looking for children between the ages of 10 and 18 years, who have significant issues with their smile that braces could correct, but don’t have the financial resources necessary to obtain treatment.
Parents may fill out an application for their child to receive one of six sets of braces donated by Smile for a Lifetime each year. Benson explained the recipients will be chosen from the applicants by the Music City Chapter’s Board of Directors that includes several local residents.
“The changes you can make in a person by changing their smile can allow their personality to blossom,” Benson said.
The Music City Chapter’s Board of Directors consists of Bob McDonald, president/CEO of CedarStone Bank; Vikki Adkins, Wilson County Board of Education member, Zone 1; Wilson County General Sessions Judge Barry Tatum; Benson’s accountant, Steve Englart of Hardison, Englert, Radar & Co. out of Donelson; and Darcy Young.
These members will choose the six recipients, who will then have the braces put on by Dr. Benson, an opportunity they may otherwise not have had.
“Smile for a Lifetime allows me to give the gift of a smile to a deserving individual who may not be in a situation where they have the financial resources to afford this service,” Benson said.
Applicants are required to fill out a form that gives the foundation information about the child’s school, grades, parents, whether or not they qualify for TennCare or are covered by any dental insurance. Also, they must provide the foundation with two letters of reference from a school, church or community leader that knows the applicant.
They must also include a 5-inch-by-7-inch photograph of the applicant’s full smile, with teeth showing for use by the foundation only. Family income is also asked to be verified by providing the foundation with a past W-2 tax form or recent pay stubs by the parents or guardians.
“The applicants will be reviewed by our local board of directors twice a year…Benson Orthodontics will be awarding six orthodontic scholarships per year,” Benson explained.
The foundation is currently taking applications, which can be found at www.bensonorthodontics.com and by clicking on the Smile for a Lifetime link. You may also apply or find more information about the foundation at www.S4L.org.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.