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DTA Foundation/Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation Recipient Taylor Rae Vracar, University of Florida

“My practice will be centered around a connection I have with a missionary from India. His name is Missionary Sam and he is part of an organization called Life for the Innocent. Missionary Sam and Life for the Innocent rescue children who would normally be sold into the child sex and labor slavery industry and aids in their rehabilitation as they recover from the traumatic experiences they have endured,” Vracar said. “This organization is committed to not only rescuing children from a life of abuse and providing shelter, food, clothing, medical attention, and education, but they are also completely devoted to presenting the children with the gift of salvation and hope that comes from Jesus Christ.“

DTA Foundation/PDT Inc. Scholarship Recipient Peter Mortenson, University of Utah School of Dentistry

“I see my time in dental school as a preparation for serving the world. Not everyone can fix a mouth in pain, and the training I am receiving now will allow me to help someone who will need it later. I think being generous is one of the greatest thrills of life, and I look forward to being generous with my services at home and abroad. I have relied on the mercy of others, and I want to be able to be outrageously merciful with my time and skillset as a dentist. I plan to continue the pattern of involvement and community service that I have established already in my life, and I am confident that my dental profession will magnify my capacity to serve,” Mortenson said.

DTA Foundation/Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation Scholarship Recipient Amanda Settle, University of Maryland School of Dentistry

“As a pediatric dentist, I would like to serve the underprivileged populations. It is within these communities that I feel we as health professionals can really make a large difference since it is often the people in these communities who most need guidance in healthcare. Here, I can educate the parents about the health of their children. Something so simple can significantly help to shape not only their oral hygiene and good habits, but also the greater pattern of their lives as they grow,” Settle said.

DTA Foundation Scholarship Recipient Cayla Ray, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health – A.T. Still University

“While many things have changed in my life, there is one thing has remained the same, and that is my love for helping others,” Ray said. “I never imagined that I would have accomplished as much as I have in such little time; and while getting into dental school has been one of my greatest accomplishments, I am more proud of the privileges that come with the title. As a pre-clinic dental student, I will continue to provide patient education and free dental supplies whenever possible. Upon entering clinic, I will strive to educate patients and provide the best care possible to those in need; and when graduation comes, I will search for a place that needs my knowledge and expertise. Dental school may be my greatest feat thus far, however, I am confident that it is but a stepping-stone to far greater accomplishments as a dentist in my community.”

During the 2016 DTA Foundation Silent Auction, attendees participated in a unique “Fund-A-Future” paddle raise opportunity to grow the Dental Student Scholarship program. After watching a video of the 2016 dental student scholarship winners thanking donors, 49 companies and individuals joined together to raise nearly $87,000 in the Fund-A-Future event. Thanks to the success of this fundraiser, the DTA Foundation added 17 new scholarship opportunities, for a total of 27 scholarships awarded in 2017!

“Thank you, beyond words, for your support,” said scholarship recipient Cayla Ray. “While many of us give back because it’s what we love to do, scholarships like this have a way of opening up doors for even greater opportunities.”

The following donors gave $5,000 each and had a 2017 scholarship named in their honor:

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 DTA Foundation scholarship recipients. Each year the DTA Foundation selects the most deserving, community-oriented third or fourth year dental student to receive a $5,000 scholarship. Thanks to your generous donations, the foundation was able to fund a record-setting 27 scholarships in 2017.

The purpose of the scholarship program is to recognize dental students who have an established commitment to community service by providing $5,000 in financial support to a third or fourth year dental student who has demonstrated:

  • Academic excellence in dentistry;
  • Financial need; and
  • A commitment to community service.

Each U.S. dental school dean had the opportunity to nominate one student from their school.

Thanks to your unwavering dedication and support, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation is proud to celebrate 15 years of funding grants that have positively impacted hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The Foundation was established in 2000 after the publication of Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. In 2002, in conjunction with the Santa Fe Group, the Foundation funded the first of many research and service-oriented projects. Thanks to your generous pledges and donations, as well as your support of the annual DTA Foundation Auction, that number has grown to more than $2 million in grants and scholarships to 62 dental students and 92 oral health programs.

DTA Foundation grants provide seed funding to innovative pilot projects designed to broaden awareness of oral health's impact on overall health and increase access to oral health care for the growing number of Americans in need. The scholarships, established in 2012 thanks to a $250,000 donation from The Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation, recognizes dental students who have an established commitment to community service by providing $5,000 in financial support to rising third or fourth year dental students who have demonstrated academic excellence in dentistry, financial need and a commitment to community service.

The annual silent auction is DTA Foundation's only in-person fundraising event. Each year, DTA Annual Meeting attendees gather on the last evening of the program to celebrate giving back to the dental industry and improving the oral health of America. The silent auction proceeds are used to fund DTA Foundation oral health grants and dental student scholarships. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised through the annual DTA Foundation silent auction over the past few years to fund these initiatives.

The DTA Foundation would like to thank the following companies for their generous donations to the 2017 silent auction:

  • From Left: Larry Caplin, DMD and Kelli-Ann Caplin (CF Charities Founders), John Suggs (CF Charities Executive Director), Laura Doyle (DTAF Executive Director), and Paul Hinsch (DTAF Board Chairman)

This text will be replaced with the slideshowThe DTA Foundation was nominated and selected as a 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Champion for Kids Award presented by CF Charities. This award is given to those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to help local organizations, under-served communities and schools improve the lives of young people, and expand CF Charities' promise of fueling bright futures. DTA Foundation Executive Director Laura Doyle and Board of Directors Chairman Paul Hinsch attended the 2017 CF Charities Fueling Bright Futures for Kids Gala in June to accept the award.

This text will be replaced with the slideshowA current Dental Trade Alliance Foundation grantee,The Altarum, has helped nearly 33,000 kids in 30 states improve their oral health through their SmileConnect® program --thanks, in large part, to your donations to the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation.

“Support from DTA Foundation has allowed the SmileConnect community to move outside of Michigan, officially launching our nationwide expansion,” said Haley McDermott, Altarum’s Center for Implementation Science philanthropic outreach coordinator. “With DTAF’s support, the SmileConnect community has developed strong partnerships with dental and dental hygiene schools, oral health manufacturers, and philanthropic organizations- relationships critical to addressing each state’s unique oral health climate and needs. ... All of this was possible because of DTAF’s support, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”