SAN MATEO, Calif. – May 25, 2021 – Sonrisas Dental Health, a pioneering nonprofit community dental center, celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing dental care access to low-income, vulnerable residents on Saturday, June 5, 2021. The virtual fundraising event will be hosted on Zoom, with a goal of raising $30,000, with a program featuring comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, and a special commemorative Sonrisas cocktail.
“We’re excited to share our ’20 Years of Smiles’ celebration with the community,” said Tracey Carrillo Fecher, CEO of Sonrisas. “Attendees will enjoy award-winning humor, the opportunity to try a special cocktail or non-alcoholic ‘mocktail,’ and will learn more about the many ways that Sonrisas has impacted patients’ lives. Donations for this event will enable Sonrisas to provide dental screenings for 230 children and up to 70 dental visits required to restore oral health for an additional 20 patients.”
The event kicks off with a short introduction to Sonrisas and its mission. Award-winning comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan will entertain attendees. A two-time MIT graduate, previous management consultant and venture capitalist, Dhaya is the 2016 winner of the Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award—previously awarded to Samantha Bee, Wanda Sykes and satirist/humorist Mark Russell. Comedy Central Asia crowned her the Grand Prize Winner of “The Ultimate Comedy Challenge” filmed in Singapore. She is the sole subject of the documentary “NerdCool” which premiered at the LA Comedy Festival in 2018. Dhaya also has worked with comedians including Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Greg Behrendt, Jello Biafra, and the late Dick Gregory.
Attendees can purchase a cocktail kit to be delivered to their doors prior to the event. Each kit contains ingredients for two Sonrisas cocktails designed by Mixologist Deb Kessler and produced by Jettywave Distillery. Cocktails feature Jettywave’s Moon Shine, distilled in Half Moon Bay. A non-alcoholic beverage, the Mocktail, is also available. Orders for the cocktail kit must be placed by 11:30 p.m. on May 26.
Founded in 2001, Sonrisas’ 48 dedicated staff members team with volunteers and philanthropists to provide professional dental care, oral health education, and dental health screenings to 11,000 patients per year. Approximately 87% of new pediatric patients are children from low-income families who participate in the Sonrisas Access to Care program. Sonrisas serves patients at two locations in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay, as well as conducts dental health screenings in local schools and community centers. Prior to COVID-19, Sonrisas screened nearly 1,000 children annually in the San Mateo County Elementary School Districts. During the pandemic, Sonrisas continues to deliver live virtual oral health education classes, offers drive-through and outdoor dental screening events, and has distributed 2463 oral health kits through school lunch pickup programs.
To purchase tickets to the event, donate, and learn more about 20 Years of Smiles, visit the event site.
About Sonrisas Dental Health
Founded in 2001, Sonrisas is a nonprofit dental health organization that provides access to dental care and oral health education for low-income families and those who cannot otherwise access dental care. With 48 staff members who speak seven languages, Sonrisas delivers culturally sensitive professional care from clinics in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay. The organization operates with funding from direct client services, philanthropy groups, and donations from individuals. For additional information about Sonrisas, see www.sonrisasdental.org.
A short video illustrating Sonrisas’ activities can be found here.
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Maura LeBaron-Hsieh, MPH
Director of Development