Give Foster Children a Chance to Smile

Cary orthodontists Dr. Todd Bovenizer and Dr. Chris Baker recently launched a program to provide free orthodontic services for children in foster care. For a $25 gift supporting the effort, donors get to take home a stuffed llama.

Cary orthodontists Dr. Todd Bovenizer and Dr. Chris Baker believe in the power of a great smile. They also believe that giving back to the community helps spread smiles.

The practice recently launched A Chance to Smile, a partnership with Friends of Wake County Guardian ad Litem to treat 15-20 foster children every year with free orthodontic services. Patients and members of the public can also donate to supplement the costs of braces, and for a gift of $25 or more, the donor gets to adopt a stuffed llama. All additional funds raised will be donated to the Friends of Wake GAL.

The mascot of the effort is Seymour the Llama, because “children in foster care want to be seen for more than their current situation. They want to be seen for who they really are,” according to the practice’s website. “Seymour the Llama reminds us all to ‘See More’ of the good in the people around us. Your smile can be one of your greatest assets. We want to see more smiles from foster children in our area.”

The nonprofit Friends of the Wake County Guardian ad Litem Program was founded in 1991 to support the work of volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children. The group provides enrichment opportunities and needed items for children in foster care.

A Chance to Smile is one of several ways the team at Bovenizer and Baker gives back to the community. Every year it donates more than $75,000 to schools and local organizations.

“From the beginning in 2006, the practice vision was to be embedded into the community and to be an integral part in giving back,” Bovenizer said.

“Rooting ourselves in our community is the best way to make an impact, as we believe in leading with our hearts. One of our core values is to walk with a purpose, and giving back to our community really guides this value.”

Learn more about A Chance to Smile at

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