On Tuesday Aug. 9 Foothill Unity Center, Inc. (FUCI) held its 18th Annual Back to School event at the historic Santa Anita Park Racetrack. The event prepares more than 1,000 K-12 pre-registered and qualified low-income families from Altadena, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Duarte, Irwindale, Monrovia, Pasadena, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena.
During the event, families receive brand new backpacks, school supplies, clothing, shoe cards, haircuts, manicures, books, and vision, dental and hearing screenings for their children.
L to R: Betty R. McWilliams, executive director, Foothill Unity Center; Greg Vanni, FUCI board of directors; Don and Maria Schweitzer of the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer; Mary Ann Lutz, FUCI board president; Dr. Santosh Sundaresan, director of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.
READ MORE ABOUT: Foothill Unity Center
“We’re so thankful for all of the sponsors, donors, volunteers and staff who make the Back to School event possible,” said Betty R. McWilliams, executive director, Foothill Unity Center. “It’s important to us as an organization to make sure our community’s low income students have basic school needs, such as new shoes, school supplies and backpacks. We’re fortunate to be able to extend our services to eye, vision and dental care. The confidence these items and services give the students is worth the tireless efforts that go into planning the event.”
During the VIP reception, Don Schweitzer, Founder, Partner and Certified Family Law Specialist of the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer, and his wife Maria Schweitzer presented the proceeds of their “Sponsoring Smiles” Circle of Friends fundraiser held in June. The Schweitzers, along with fundraiser co-hosts and Pasadena residents, Annette and Sheldon Bull, raised $22,500, all of which will benefit Foothill Unity’s Pediatric Mobile Dental Clinic.
READ MORE ABOUT: Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer
“I think we need to understand the importance of keeping the children in our community healthy,” Schweitzer says. “An untreated tooth decay can lead to bigger health issues, keeping our community’s children out of school more days due to illness. And let’s face it, nobody can feel confident or focus on studies when they are dealing with pain. These kids are our future leaders. Let’s help them get the resources they need to stay healthy, confident, focused and smiling.”
Children whose dental care needs were identified during the pre-screening at the Back-to-School event were invited to the Mobile Dental Clinic week in October Beardsley Elementary School in Duarte, where USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry will provide more than 3,000 pediatric dental procedures to approximately 100 school-age children in the San Gabriel Valley.