Our Community: Dentist fixes teeth — from the heart

People who normally don’t have much to smile about will be showing off their pearly whites soon, as Dentistry From the Heart returns for its seventh year on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The event offers free dental care for patients most in need. The first 50 appointments of the day can be booked ahead of time by phone. After that, patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis until 5 p.m.

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Dr. C. Ross Crapo, who has hosted the event for the past seven years, will be assisted this year by Dr. Jordan Sulz, Dr. Ngan Huynh, Dr. Peter Liem and as many as 40 support staff.

“Victoria has been very good to me and our entire team,” Crapo said. “This is simply our best way to give back to those most in need.”

In the past six years, the team of doctors and volunteers have provided free dental care, worth in excess of $144,000, to more than 340 people. The outreach program typically ends with renewed smiles, relief from dental pain and a warm sense of gratitude among recipients.

Registration for the event starts at 8:45 a.m., with patients seen until 5 p.m. Sept. 24 at suite 206-4400 Chatterton Way. Call 250-383-3368 to book.

For more information, go to dentistryfromtheheart.org.

United Way off to a flying start

United Way launched its annual community campaign on a high note, collecting two storage containers with donations for its Fill the House component on Wednesday.

For the second year, the campaign target is focused on participation — with every dollar going toward non-profit/charitable organizations to fund a network of valuable services and programs for individuals, families, children and youth.

The organization is hoping to add 2,000 additional donors to make the total 13,000.

Last year, donors and volunteers raised $5.5 million and made it possible to fund more than 110 programs that provided support to 97,000 people in the region.

“We know the more people we engage with our cause, the more successful the campaign will be,” said Patricia Jelinski, CEO of United Way Greater Victoria. “Over the years, we have had tremendous support in the region, and last year almost 11,000 donors and over 300 workplaces joined with us to help build a stronger and more inclusive community. We want people to understand that if they join with us, if they join with others under the United Way movement, we can accomplish great things together for our community and our citizens.”

Donations to the United Way community campaign are accepted at workplaces, at its office, 1144 Fort St., via phone 250-385-6708 or online at uwgv.ca.

Bladder-cancer research is underfunded

Register now for the fourth annual Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk Victoria, to be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Clover Point.

Bladder Cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Canada (fourth among men and 12th among women), with an estimated 8,300 people newly diagnosed with the disease every year. It is among the least understood cancers, and one of the most expensive cancers to treat. It is also one of the most underfunded areas of cancer research.

People can join the walk as individuals, teams or team captains. There is no cost to register for the walk.

If you are unable to come out to the walk, you can make a charitable donation to Bladder Cancer Canada by sponsoring an individual or a team. Donations of $18 or more will receive an electronic tax receipt.

The Victoria Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk starts at 9 a.m. with Starbucks coffee, T-shirt pickup and a silent auction. The warmup starts at 9:45 with the walk commencing at 10 a.m. The event wraps up at 11 a.m. with silent-auction winners announced. For more information, go to bccwalk.ca.

Food and art will aid gallery 

Sample the finest in local cuisine, drink, music and art, at Art + Fare 2, a fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Sept. 24 at the Union Club.

The celebration of Victoria food and art is back for its second year, with proceeds benefiting child and family educational programming, conservation and preservation at the gallery.

The event will feature unique exhibitions by some of Victoria’s finest art galleries. Guests will have an opportunity to view and purchase unique pieces for their own collections.

The event is being put on by the Union Club of British Columbia. Some of the earliest members of the club, architects Francis Rattenbury and Samuel Maclure, were also founding members of Victoria’s arts community.

“The Union Club has always had a close connection to the arts in Victoria and we’re very grateful for their ongoing support,” said Jon Tupper, director of the gallery. “Last year’s event was absolutely fantastic, and I’m looking forward to another wonderful evening.”

Guests will be treated to live music by Hung Jury in the 19th-century salon atmosphere of the club’s historic neo-Georgian building.

Tickets are $125 and include a $25 tax receipt if requested. The event runs 7 to 11 p.m. at the Union Club of British Columbia, 805 Gordon St. Tickets are available on eventbrite.ca, and through aggv.ca. For more information, contact Robert Coulter, at robertcoulter@mac.com or 250-891-2436.

Campaign gives students yummy breakfasts

Young students will start their learning day with a tummy full of nutritious food, thanks to the Singing Bowl Granola Porridge Project, which served its first bowl on Wednesday.

Singing Bowl Granola is a Victoria-based company that hand-makes breakfast cereal with organic oats from Canadian farms and natural ingredients. It is made in small batches at a purpose-built commercial kitchen in Victoria. It is available at more than 40 stores and cafés from Victoria to Nanaimo.

Jessica Duncan, the founder of the company, also believes that good food should be available to everybody, regardless of income. She started the Porridge Project, which offers individual pots of organic, sugar-free porridge for school breakfast programs to those who would benefit the most from starting their day with a nutritious breakfast.

The Blue Heron Advisory Group from the Victoria branch of CIBC Wood Gundy’s Children’s Miracle Day Campaign heard about the program and decided to get on board and pay for the meals. The schools order the porridge directly from Singing Bowl, which supplies both individual portions and bulk bags.

Last week, the company delivered the first batch of the school year to McKenzie Elementary, Lansdowne Middle and Braefoot Elementary, with more schools expected to join next week.

The company expects to provide as many as 750 meals a month to put a small dent in the pervasive poverty and hunger experienced by some students. For more information, go to singingbowlgranola.com.

Time changes for ballet fundraiser

There has been a time change for a performance by the Moscow Ballet Company to aid fundraising for Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

The ballet company is bringing the famed Swan Lake production, with 40 dancers, to support the sanctuary’s Bridges to Nature Campaign.

The matinée performance time for Foliage, Flowers and Tutus will be 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.

Swan Lake was Tchaikovsky’s first ballet and is a favourite with ballet lovers. The performance by the world-famous ballet company includes award-winning dancers and lavish costumes.

Proceeds will go toward replacing an aging 230-metre floating boardwalk, at a cost of $800,000, that spans the lake at the nature sanctuary.

For more information, contact the sanctuary at 250-479-0211.

Housing agency pays living wage

Pacifica Housing is excited to announce that it has been officially certified as a Living Wage Employer through the Living Wage for Families Campaign, making it the second certified living-wage employer in Victoria.

Employers are certified when they pay all direct and third-party contracted staff a living wage. Sixty-five employers across the province, including the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, are certified.

“It is very important at Pacifica Housing that all of our employees earn a fair wage. Without our amazing and very compassionate team, we couldn’t do the work we do, in providing affordable housing and housing with supports,” said Dean Fortin, executive director of Pacifica Housing. “Earning a living wage allows everyone to live with dignity and actively participate in their community.”

The campaign encourages employers to pay a living wage — as well as advocating for government policies to help families make ends meet. The living-wage calculation is based on a two-parent family with two children — the most common family unit in B.C. — and both parents working full time. The current living-wage rate for Greater Victoria is $20.02 per hour.

“Both Living Wage Employers in Greater Victoria are non-profits,” said Deanna Ogle, campaign organizer with the Living Wage for Families Campaign. “This demonstrates the strong commitment and contribution of non-profit organizations to the economic health of local communities.”

Pacifica Housing is a leading provider of affordable housing and support services in Greater Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo, with 32 buildings totalling 842 units that house more than 1,500 people. For more information, go to pacificahousing.ca.

Classic rockers play for drug awareness

Canadian rock band Prism is the main act at an awareness concert hosted by Victoria-based BeYouPromise.org, Oct. 1 at Alix Goolden Performance Hall.

The opening act for the Juno-award-winning classic-rock band will be comedian Richard Glen Lett.

All proceeds from the concert will go directly to support BeYouPromise.org’s preventive-education outreach program. The organization delivers presentations in schools and the community about the risks and harms associated with the use of alcohol and drugs, the negative effects of substance misuse, and the benefits of moderation or restraint when using alcohol and drugs.

Tickets are $25 advance or $30 at the door. Doors open at 6:30, with the show starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1., at Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave. Tickets can be purchased online at beyoupromise.org/ awareness-concert/.

Island runners near finish line

The Heliset Hale Relay (Awaken life within you) run across Vancouver Island began Saturday in Port Hardy and is expected to finish Sept. 25 at the Pauquachin First Nation.

The annual run was first held in 2013 to raise awareness of suicide prevention and mental-health initiatives on Vancouver Island.

The event is an opportunity to gather First Nations communities together to speak openly about suicide — and for friends and family to remember those lost to suicide.

The Heliset Hale Relay team will visit First Nation communities and schools along the route to share personal stories and messages. The relay is a way to connect with others and inspire positive change.

The public is invited to cheer the runners as they make their way south and join the last leg of the journey, either from Mile 0, Keating Elementary School (6843 Central Saanich Rd.) or Brentwood Co-Op Gas (6739 West Saanich Rd.) to the Pauquachin First Nation, 9010 West Saanich Rd., on Sept. 25. For more information, go to helisethale.com.

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