The ADA Foundation (ADAF) has announced the winners of the 2014 Smile Champion awards for Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS).

Cindy Hearn, vice president, branding & communications for CareCredit, will receive the Steven W. Kess Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award. Michael Shreck, DMD, will receive the Jeffrey Dalin, DDS Give Kids A Smile Volunteer Award.

The awards presentation will take place during the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Gala, October 10 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, during the American Dental Association’s (ADA) annual meeting in San Antonio.

Cindy Hearn serves as vice president, branding & communications for CareCredit, a part of Synchrony Financial and North America’s leading healthcare credit card. Through Hearn’s dedication and leadership, CareCredit has donated $100,000 per year to the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Fund since 2007. Hearn has served on the GKAS Advisory Committee since the Committee’s inception in 2007. There, she has been a subcommittee leader, run strategic planning sessions and shared her marketing expertise. Her work with Give Kids A Smile played a role in her being elected to the ADA Foundation Board of Directors in 2012.

Shreck brought the Give Kids A Smile event to Nassau County, NY, in 2003 and has acted as chair or co-chair every year since then. During GKAS day in 2014, more than 1,600 children were screened and/or treated. The program has averaged approximately 1,200 children per year over the past 11 years. Nassau County’s GKAS event utilizes the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY, to provide a multidimensional educational experience for underserved 4- to 7-year-olds in a “fair-like” atmosphere. Along with dental screenings, cleanings, extractions, fluoride applications, and sealants, kids can explore the history of flight, aeronautics, and space exploration and also visit the adjoining Firefighter’s Museum. The Society has received the ADA’s Golden Apple Award and the New York State Dental Association’s Hallmark of Excellence Award for its Access to Care Programs, including Give Kids A Smile.

The Smile Champion awards are presented annually by the ADA Foundation. The award recognizes the winners’ tireless efforts to expand the GKAS program to reach more underserved children across the country. Give Kids A Smile is the American Dental Association’s signature national access-to-care program that provides free dental screenings, treatment, and education to underserved children. Since its founding more than 10 years ago, GKAS has provided dental services to more than 5 million children. Through its Give Kids A Smile Fund, the ADA Foundation has provided financial support for the program totaling almost $1,400,000 since 2011.

David Whiston, DDS, president of the ADA Foundation, acknowledged the importance of volunteers like Schreck and Hearn. “Give Kids A Smile is a national treasure, helping hundreds of thousands of kids learn how to care for their teeth for lifelong benefit. The key to the success of this program is the volunteers, such as Cindy Hearn and Dr Schreck. We are very grateful to them and to the many thousands of others who give their time, their skill, and their caring for these children. There is nothing better than giving a kid a smile.”

In addition to celebrating Give Kids A Smile and this year’s Smile Champion award winners, the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Gala will recognize ADA President Charles Norman, DDS, and other ADA luminaries, including Trustees and Board officers, along with members of the ADA Foundation Board of Directors, and the Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Committee.

Give Kids A Smile has been made possible through the efforts of nearly half a million volunteers, including more than 100,000 dentists and more than 350,000 other volunteers ranging from dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental office staff, dental technicians, dental students, teachers, parents, and school nurses to other community health professionals. In addition, several key supporters provide funding and in-kind product support. Henry Schein Dental, Colgate and DEXIS are the primary sponsors for GKAS Day, and 3M ESPE Dental and CareCredit have also provided major support for the program.

Sponsors of the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Gala include: Colgate-Palmolive Company, DEXIS KaVo Kerr Group, and Henry Schein Cares (Benefactors), AXA Equitable, CareCredit, DENTSPLY, and Great-West Financial (Patrons), and 3M ESPE, Air Techniques, American Dental Education Association, Dental Trade Alliance, Hu-Friedy, Patterson, and Procter & Gamble (Sponsors).

Since the establishment of the Give Kids A Smile Fund, the ADA Foundation has made grants in support of the program in excess of $1 million.