Charitable dental clinic opens at Sidney Elementary

Oral Care for Children and Adolescents (ORCCA) officially opened the doors to its new home on March 26 in grand style.

Smiles all around. Sidney Mayor Steve Price dons the lead apron at the new ORCCA dental clinic with some help from Ryan Hoffmann

Oral Care for Children and Adolescents (ORCCA) officially opened the doors to its new home on March 26 in grand style.

The not-for-profit dental clinic is the dream of Sidney dentist Dr. Mitra Hashemi, who two years ago set about trying to make it become a reality. She wanted to create a place where children age 19 or younger could get basic dental care, even if their families could not afford it.

On March 26, the ORCCA clinic opened in the annex building at Sidney Elementary School. With the school’s choir performing on stage, ORCCA board chair Heather Burkett thanked the volunteers and supporters who made it a reality.

“It’s a collaboration in its truest form,” she said. “Our thanks to Tom Vickers, principal of Sidney Elementary. He was part of the vision to help create the clinic.”

Burkett shared a story about one family who heard a recent radio interview she gave about the clinic. They had children in need for care to help alleviate pain — yet they did not have the money for regular dental care.

“That is what it’s all about,” Burkett told an audience in the school’s gymnasium “This is why we are here today.”

Although ORCCA officially opened March 26, Burkett said they had been running quietly for a few weeks to test the waters.

Already, they’ve had a few patients, including their first, Madison Paulson. She and her mom Melissa were greeted warmly during the opening ceremony.

A variety of speakers, sponsors and officials addressed the  audience in welcome to the new clinic.

To learn more about ORCCA, visit orccadental.ca.