COLLEGE PARK, GEORGIA – The College Park Skyhawks hosted CareSource Georgia and TeamSmile at the Gateway Center Arena to provide a day of free dental care to Atlanta students on Dec. 9. CareSource is a Medicaid provider for 500,000 members, while TeamSmile is a national nonprofit free dental and oral health education to underserved children throughout the United States.
The event on Dec. 9 provided free dental care and education to students from three metro Atlanta schools.
“This event with TeamSmile and our Hawks partners allowed us to provide dental care to children in an underserved community in Georgia,” said Jason Bearden, CareSource Georgia president. “When organizations come together for the sake of improving the health and wellness of our communities, we are able to make a lasting impact.”
The Skyhawks’ mascot Colli Hawk, CareSource mascot Cuddles, Skyhawks head coach Steve Gansey, assistant coaches, and former Atlanta Hawks players Salim Stoudamire and Mario West also participated in the event. Students received T-shirts, toothbrushes and toothpaste as well.
After the event, rolling out spoke to Gansey about giving back to the community and got a brief update on the Skyhawks’ season.
How was today’s event?
Well, it was a big-time event. It started at 9 a.m., and CareSource, one of our sponsors, and TeamSmile, another one, teamed up with the Skyhawks and Gateway Center Arena to give free dental work to kids. They had a bunch of stations, it’s unbelievable for all these kids to, for the first time, have their teeth looked at and get it cleaned, and actually get some sealant and some other things. You can tell some of the kids were a little apprehensive and a little bit nervous, but it was good talking to them. They were excited to get a little goodie bag of a toothbrush, toothpaste and some other things. It’s just great CareSource, TeamSmile and Gateway all teamed together for this awesome event. It was a long day, but it was all for the kids.
How important is a healthy smile in making a good first impression in a professional setting?
It’s very important. … Obviously, you want to be in a positive mood and smile at people, and you want to feel confident about that, so it’s great these young kids are getting that confidence. Some of them had some teeth that were hurting them a little bit, but they got those looked at and maybe even fixed today. It’s just a great feeling they are going to get that confidence when meeting people throughout their lives.
Jarrett Culver has recently been called up to the Atlanta Hawks. What did you see in him when he was with College Park?
I’m excited for Jarrett. He’s attacked it every single day when he’s been with us. I’ve had numerous conversations with him just about being an everyday guy and attacking the opportunity every time he’s with us.