Clinic to offer free dental care to needy children in Winneconne - June 30 2011

OSHKOSH, WI -- Hundreds of children in Winneconne will receive free dental care thanks to a grant from the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs for Winneconne, a field of interest fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

Tri-County Community Dental Clinic has been awarded $10,000 to implement its Focus on the Children program in the Winneconne Community School District. The clinic will provide nearly 100 eligible students with oral health exams, fluoride treatments, sealant applications and other treatments next school year.

Photo caption: Eileen Connolly-Keesler (left), president and CEO of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, and Patrick Seubert (right), member of the Community Foundation's Board of Directors, present Robert Glass (center), executive director of Tri-County Community Dental Clinic, with a $10,000 check for the Focus on the Children program on June 30, 2011.

"Educating children - and their parents - about good oral health, and then providing care for those who need it, is so important," said Robert Glass, executive director of Tri-County Community Dental Clinic, a nonprofit based in Appleton.

"When children and adults are proactive about oral health care, they can decrease expensive emergency room and doctors visits, improve their overall health, decrease work and school absenteeism and decrease future dental problems."

The Focus on the Children program serves 42 schools and 10 Head Start Centers in the Fox Valley area. Participation in 2010 increased by 45 percent from 2009, Glass said. The goal is to expand the program to 60 schools next year.

"This is just the beginning for the Fund for Basic Needs in Winneconne," said Patrick Seubert, member of the Board of Directors of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

"The potential here is tremendous. As more donors become aware of the Fund for Basic Needs and help it grow, we will be able to help more people in Winneconne to become self-sufficient and end the cycle of poverty."

The U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs for Winneconne was established at the Community Foundation in 2009 and has since granted $13,000 to the community. The fund is supported by individual donors and by the U.S. Venture Basic Needs Giving Partnership.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership receives funding from the U.S. Venture Open, J. J. Keller Foundation and individual donors. The U.S. Venture Open raised $2.2 million in 2010 for the communities served by community foundations in Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh. Since 1986, thousands of funders, event participants and volunteers have helped to raise $12.6 million for hundreds of charitable organizations throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The 2011 U.S. Venture Open will be held at five Northeast Wisconsin golf courses Aug. 9-10.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.

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