The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation (AACDCF) received the 2018 Mary Byron Project Celebrating Solutions Award in honor of the work it's done for adults who’ve suffered dental injuries from domestic and sexual violence. The Mary Byron Project Inc. fosters innovations and strategies to end domestic violence. This is the sixteenth year for the annual recognition, which showcases innovations that demonstrate promise in breaking the cycle of intimate partner violence.
For the Mary Byron Inc. awards, local and national experts help select programs they believe serve as models for the nation. Each winning program receives $10,000 in unrestricted funds. To date, the Mary Byron Project, Inc. has awarded over $1 million to innovative programs in 30 states across the nation.
The AACDCF was recognized by the Mary Byron Project for the work done by AACD member dentists, dental laboratories, and other dental professionals who have volunteered their time and expertise pro bono to restore the damaged smiles of more than 1,700 survivors of intimate partner violence for a total dollar value of more than $16 million. The AACDCF is honored to receive this award as they celebrate the 20-year anniversary of its Give Back a Smile (GBAS) program.
The GBAS program started its mission because of survivors like Dawn, who after being abused by her partner, woke up in the hospital with a fractured skull, broken ribs, a scarred face, and destroyed teeth. She lost her job, her house, and her self-respect, and spent years trying to rebuild her confidence. She was ashamed of the way she looked until a domestic abuse advocate told her about the Give Back a Smile program. Dawn is now getting her degree in counseling and working towards her dream of advocating for other women trapped in abusive relationships.
"GBAS gave me back the dignity my abuser had robbed me of. I no longer look in the mirror and see a tarnished woman. I see a beautiful smile and light in that woman’s eyes. I have become the selfie queen!” – Dawn, domestic abuse survivor
To ensure the Give Back a Smile program can provide services to survivors like Dawn for another twenty years, consider one of these many ways to support the program:
The AACD Charitable Foundation is also hosting a celebration in The Skybox in San Diego, California, during the 35th Annual American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Scientific Session on Thursday, April 25, from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. This event is open to the public and sponsored by Ceatus Media Group. The celebration will include food, live music, and other GBAS supporters who really know how to have a good time for a great cause. Attendees of this event will have the pleasure of taking in the breathtaking 360-degree landscape of the San Diego coastline as well as an exciting aerial view of the San Diego baseball stadium, Petco Park. Tickets are $125 USD/person and are limited to the first 200 people. Event proceeds benefit survivors of domestic and sexual violence through the Give Back a Smile program. For more information about this event, or to register for the 35th Annual AACD Scientific Session, visit www.aacdconference.com.
To learn more about the GBAS program, visit www.aacd.com/aboutGBAS.
One in four women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime. If you or someone you know could be helped by GBAS - or would like to get involved in the program - please visit the GBAS website at www.givebackasmile.com or call toll-free 800.773.4227 for more information.