Evening Rotary receives donation for Smiles for Veterans program

The Rotary Club of The Villages-Evening chapter recently received a $2,000 donation for its Smiles for Veterans dental program from the Lake and Sumter Counties Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Dusty Rhodes, a retired Navy commander who is also a member of the Rotary Club, made the presentation at a recent meeting.

Dusty Rhodes (center), of the Military Officers Association of America, presents a $2,000 donation to Jim Bodenner (right), chairman of Rotary Club of The Villages-Evening chapter’s Smiles for Veterans Program. Also pictured is Evening Rotary President Sue Bodenner.

The Smiles for Veterans initiative provides dental care for low-income veterans at Langley Health Services. Program Chairman Jim Bodenner said Smiles for Veterans has provided dental assistance to over 250 veterans in Sumter, Citrus and Marion counties. “With donations like MOAA, we have been able to help with the cost of dentures for some of these veterans, following multiple extractions,” Bodenner said.

The full cost for each of their procedures ranged from $92 to $1295, however, veterans pay only $5 for each visit.  Grants from the Smiles for Veterans Fund cover the difference between that and Langley Health Services’ sliding scale fee.

“Langley is proud to be part of this program,” said Operations Director Paul Quinn. “You can’t imagine the difference needed dental care makes to the veteran’s health and quality of life. Our dentists get to see the transformation and joy when the veteran sees their new smile.”

The Evening Rotary Club partnered with Langley Health Services, Sunshine State Veterans Fund and Summer Glen Veterans Club to create the fund in 2018.  Since then, other organizations that have contributed include Rotary Club of The Villages-Morning chapter and MOAA.

Organizations or individuals wishing to help support these deserving veterans, contact Jim Bodenner (616-866-8180) or Dusty Rhodes (352-571-8292). Click for additional information about the program.

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