SALT LAKE CITY — Have you ever been on a waiting list for something as trivial as season tickets to your favorite sports team or something as serious as an organ transplant?
There are nearly 250 children in the state of Utah who are currently on a waiting list for something somewhere in between the two examples provided above. They’re hoping to receive free dental care from the Regence Caring Foundation for Children.
And an event hosted by the Regence Caring Foundation for Children will hopefully ensure many of those children get the treatment they need.
A concert by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina highlights the 17th Annual Regence Caring Foundation for Children Gala October 21 at the Grand America Hotel. Proceeds from the concert, as well as an auction that evening, will hopefully make a dent in the list of those waiting for care, but additional help is needed.
“We’re all aware of the economic challenges faced by many Utahns,” said Kathleen Pitcher Tobey, executive director of the Foundation, said. “Unfortunately, when money is tight, dental care gets left out. We want to be able to fill the gap for kids who need that dental care but their parents can’t afford it.”
Pitcher Tobey says it costs about $450 to treat one child per year. Aside from attending the Gala, donations are always accepted at any time throughout the year to assist Utah’s children up to age 17. Foundation officials estimate:
- $2,000 will repair cavities in 26 children
- $1,000 will provide10 children with checkups and x-rays
- $450 will provide complete care for one child for one year
- $200 will provide a checkup, x-ray and two fillings for one child
- $100 will provide a checkup and x-rays for one child
By hosting the Gala, the Regence Caring Foundation for Children is continuing its mission of assisting uninsured Utah children. Pitcher Tobey cited weight loss, school absenteeism, speech impediments and costly emergency room visits as some of the issues that can arise if oral health problems are left untreated.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, poor oral health has reached epidemic proportions among low-income children nationwide, and research indicates Idaho children are no exception. The Foundation’s program helps children achieve complete oral health (up to a maximum of $1,000 per child per calendar year) through a full array of benefits, including preventive and restorative care.
“The work of the Foundation continues to help fill some of the needs of the uninsured and underinsured members of our communities, and that is our goal,” Pitcher Tobey said. “It’s important that children receive the care they need to lead healthy, productive lives.”
Loggins and Messina are stopping off in Salt Lake during their much anticipated reunion tour. They’ll play at 8 p.m. following a reception, dinner and live auction.
Table sponsorships of $2,000 are available, which gets purchasers 10 tickets to the dinner, auction and concert. Individual tickets are being sold as well for $200. Additionally, larger sponsorships are available for the event.
The auction will be highlighted by a trip for four to Disneyland, which includes air fare, three night’s lodging and a three-day park hopper pass per person.
About the Regence Caring Foundation for Children
The Regence Caring Foundation for Children is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization sponsored and administered by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah. Regence continues its proud tradition of donating all of the Regence Caring Foundation for Children’s general administrative expenses, allowing 100 percent of profits from fundraising events and other donations to provide free dental care services to children. The Foundation provides services to low-income children in Utah whose families cannot afford private coverage and receive no government assistance. The dental care provided helps children avoid problems stemming from untreated oral disease, including school absenteeism, needless weight loss, unnecessary and costly emergency room visits and life-threatening infections. For further information, please contact Kathleen Pitcher Tobey, executive director, at (801) 333-5575. You may also visit our Web site at: www.caringfoundationforchildren.org.