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St. Christopher's Foundation for Children Ronald McDonald Care Mobile(R) Dental Program to be Celebrated at Foundation's Apple Blossom Ball

PHILADELPHIA, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Christopher's Foundation for Children (SCFC) will celebrate the Foundation's Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Dental Program during the fifth annual Apple Blossom Ball fundraiser on May 14, 2009. Since its inception in 2001, the Foundation's dental program has provided free, quality dental care and treatment to thousands of uninsured or underinsured three-to-eight year olds throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region.

"We are fortunate to have such strong community partners that help make this program a success year after year," said Jan Shaeffer, executive director, St. Christopher's Foundation for Children. "Together, we are addressing head-on the growing epidemic of dental disease and decay affecting children and youth all across the Delaware Valley."

"Ronald McDonald House Charities and St. Christopher's Foundation for Children share a common mission to improve the lives of local children," said John Durante, president, Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) of the Philadelphia Region, Inc. "We are proud to participate in the celebration of the program's success."

The mobile program visits more than 50 schools and treats over 2,500 children annually. The vehicle has two fully equipped dental chairs, three portable units, a qualified staff of pediatric dentists and hygienists, and a comprehensive educational program.

Each child is provided diagnostic, preventative and restorative dental care that includes examinations, cleanings, fluoride and sealant treatments, x-rays and fillings. The program is sponsored by grants from SCFC, the Philadelphia Healthcare Trust, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Verizon Foundation, Patricia Kind Foundation and RMHC of the Philadelphia Region, Inc., who will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Apple Blossom Ball.

The SCFC Ronald McDonald Care Mobile receives support from the Department of Dental Medicine at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, and is overseen by the department director, Dr. Augustine 'Gus' Chialastri. Chialastri played a key role in launching the program in 2001 and continues to provide oversight for the program and the dental residents who volunteer their time on the van throughout the year. Dr. Chialastri, along with RMHC of the Philadelphia Region, Inc. President John Durante, will be recognized for their service during the Apple Blossom Ball, which will feature a brief video documentary of the program's history.

About RMHC of the Philadelphia Region, Inc.

RMHC of the Philadelphia Region, Inc. awards grants to nonprofit organizations for programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Locally, RMHC supports the Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware Ronald McDonald Houses, in addition to the St. Christopher's Foundation Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. The charity receives its support from McDonald's Corporation, McDonald's Owner/Operators, corporate donors and McDonald's customers. For more information, visit

About St. Christopher's Foundation for Children

St. Christopher's Foundation for Children's (SCFC) mission is to support the health and well-being of children in the community served by St. Christopher's Hospital for Children through programs in the areas of care, outreach, research and education. Established in 1998, SCFC continues the tradition of caring for children begun by St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in 1875. The Foundation awards grants to community organizations, provides funding for charitable programs at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children that benefit patients and families, and operates a comprehensive pediatric mobile dental program. For more information, visit:

    Emily Grose
    Phone: 215.790.4388

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