On the evening of April 19, 2012, the spotlight was centered on the highest luxury rooftop in New York City—Skyroom. Decked with a fancy red carpet, a “Step and Repeat” banner, and the Manhattan skyline as an elegant backdrop, the NYU community had traded in scrubs for stillettos and tuxedos to support an amazing cause.
As ASDA Philanthropy chairs, we are always considering new ideas that would enable us to give back to the community. The idea for this event started off quite small; initially we just wanted to host a charity event to raise money for a good cause. As we joined forces with Xi Psi Phi, Marketing & Business Management, Student Council, Women in Dentistry, Aesthetics Club, Canadian American Student Dental Association, Clinical Society of Periodontics, APSDA, Nursing School, and the Hygiene Class, the idea soared to new levels.
“Give Back a Smile” is the charitable foundation of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry where dentists and dental laboratories volunteer their time and efforts to rebuild the smiles and dignities of those who have been victims of domestic abuse. The charity has a screening process in which they interview motivated applicants and the qualifying survivors are given a support team, as well as access to restorative and cosmetic dentistry at no cost. Every dollar that is donated is “leveraged sixteen times in donated dental services,” and two hundred dollars is enough to help restore the smile of one survivor.
We were truly inspired and wanted to create an event that would get the whole NYU community aware of this great organization. It took months of planning, but we were lucky enough to have sponsorship for the event through the contributions of A-dec, Heartland Dentistry, Rank My Dentist, Dentalvibe, Ultradent, as well as the help of event planner Sally Shan to make the event as successful as it was.
More than 400 people came to the charity fundraiser, and the New York University community was able to raise over $8,200 for “Give Back a Smile!” This is enough to rebuild the smiles of 41 survivors of domestic abuse.
As dental students, we sometimes get caught up in cutting the absolute perfect crown prep, getting all our requirements done, and memorizing anatomy textbooks cover to cover. If we take a step back and see how we are in a profession which can not only help people in pain but also restore their confidence in a smile, we can see the rewarding side of dentistry, where we can truly make a difference.
~Svetlana Musheyev, NYU ’13, and Julia Niyazova, NYU ’13