CHICAGO, Ill., USA: It’s become an annual tradition and is considered by many to be the premier networking event of the year: Oral Health America’s Annual Gala and Benefit heralds the opening of the Midwinter Meeting with a fundraising event that brings together more than 1,000 dental professionals from 300 companies, private practices and other organizations.
OHA supporters gathered Wednesday evening for a cocktail reception at Lakeview Terrace on Navy Pier followed by dinner, presentations and dancing the Aon Grand Ballroom. And throughout the evening there were opportunities to support the organization by bidding on silent auction items, participating in “Bid for the Cause” and entering quick raffles.
This 27th anniversary of the event was designed around the theme “Broadway: Oral Health Takes Center Stage.” With that theme in mind, the event was used to shine a spotlight on the importance of OHA’s mission, which is to attain oral health equity for every American by improving access to care, educating the public about oral health issues and advocating for oral health legislation. As one of OHA’s largest fundraisers, the event directly supports that mission. OHA programs have enjoyed dramatic and steady growth since the organization’s founding in 1955, in large part because of the gala’s success.
Milly Goldstein is honored
OHA also used the annual event to honor an individual whose career significantly impacts oral health on a regional or national level by being innovative, creative and pioneering; demonstrating positive, measurable change over a sustained period; and achieving success in overcoming barriers to oral health access, education and advocacy. This year, Milly Goldstein, former president of the Harry J. Bosworth Company, was presented with the OHA Tribute Award.
“Ms. Goldstein more than exemplifies the criteria for this award in the most profound ways imaginable,” said OHA President and CEO Beth Truett in a press release issued prior to the event. “Her loyalty to Oral Health America’s mission and work as a board member and her commitment to the dental industry are exemplified in everything she has accomplished. Ms. Goldstein changed the landscape of the industry as the first female president of a dental company. She was also dedicated to the field as chair of many organizations, including having the honor of serving as the first female chair of the American Dental Trade Association (ADTA). We are grateful for all of the work Ms. Goldstein, along with her husband Herbert Pozen, have done for the industry.”
The gala is supported by presenting sponsor KaVo Kerr Group; technology sponsors Ivoclar Vivadent and Patterson Dental; entertainment sponsor Henry Schein Dental; platinum sponsors A-dec Inc., Colgate Palmolive Company, Dentsply Sirona, Philips Oral Healthcare, SciCan and Septodont; raffle sponsor – Darby Dental Supply; dessert sponsor Midmark Corp.; diamond sponsors Chicago Dental Society and DentaQuest; quick raffle sponsor – Aspen Dental; wine draw sponsor DentalEZ Integrated Solutions; and gold sponsors Aurelia Gloves, BISCO Inc., Burkhart Dental and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Plan.
Auction items this year included an iPad Air 2, a Macbook, an Apple Watch, ad space in dental publications, travel packages, theatre tickets, $250 gift cards to Ticketmaster, Disney Park Hopper Passes with a stay at the Embassy Suites Orlando-International Drive in Florida, a gift card to Chicago’s Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and a stay at your choice of the Hotel Felix or the Virgin Hotel.
All proceeds from the event underwrite OHA’s mission to connect communities with resources to improve access to care, increase health literacy and raise awareness about the importance of oral health’s impact on overall health. OHA’s programs serving children and older adults are active in 47 states and one U.S. territory as a result of support received from this annual event.