Twice a year since 2002, local dentists donate a day of free treatment to young folks through a clinic, Give Kids A Smile (GKAS.)
Chesterfield resident John P. Vogl, a dentist with five children of his own, was named GKAS Hero this month for his pro bono work with the clinic.
"Dr. John Vogl represents everything that is good about Give Kids A Smile," said Thomas Flavin, a founder and president of the board of directors for the organization.
("Vogl) is a gentle, caring and dedicated dentist who we have come to count on at nearly every clinic," Flavin said. There have been 20 clinics since 2002.
The group awarded the Hero status for the first time ever this year, during the Greater St. Louis Dental Society annual installation event, at Busch Stadium, January 14.
“Working with Give Kids A Smile is both fun and gratifying," Vogl said after receiving the honor. "None of us is ever going to change the world, but each of us can make a dent in our little corner of it.”
The organization said more than 8,900 dental professionals and lay volunteers donate time and talent through the clinic, and have provided 10,632 children with $4.6 million in free dental service. The clinics are held October and February.
Criteria for a GKAS Hero include being a licensed dentist who has made a significant contribution to the GKAS clinics and/or its other community outreach events.
In making the award, the organization said this about Vogl:
"He has served at all but one of the free biannual dental clinics. He spends his time chairside working to clean, restore and protect the dental health of visiting children in need. He makes sure each child is treated properly and given the kind of care they deserve, often resulting in him being the last dentist to leave the clinic floor."
He also volunteers emergency dental services to those in need, through Oasis International, which serves refugees who relocate to St. Louis.
Vogl is a 1981 graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry, and has his own dental practice in Manchester.
The GKAS Hero Award will be presented annually. To learn more about Give Kids A Smile click here or call 636-397-6453.
Give Kids a Smile was developed by dentists Jeffrey Dalin, B. Ray Storm, Tom Flavin, Mark Ortinau, and Jan Storm, RDHB, to provide children of families who cannot currently afford dental care with access to modern dentistry.
Also contributing to GKAS clinics:
- Delta Dental of Missouri
- Keller Dental Laboratory
- Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education
- Missouri Dental Association
- Patterson Dental
- Goetze Dental
- Guardian Life Insurance
- First Pacific Corporation
- Greater St. Louis Dental Society
- Young Dental
- Henry Shein Dental