Smiles for Steven is a program set up seven years ago by Dr. Tracy Murray, Rhonda Murray and the staff of the Tracy M. Murray, DDS, Inc. dental office. It starts in May and continues until August 31st. This is the time when patients can have their teeth whitened by Dr. Murray and his team with 100% of the fees, being donated to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.
“We do whitening and all the proceeds go to Smiles for Steven (to be benefit the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund),” Dr. Murray said. “This is my favorite charity of the year.”
The fund helps feed local children through Steven’s Power Pack Club. It works with local schools to help those children on the program, receive nutritious, shelf-stable food every Friday for the weekend. The children are chosen by teachers and counselors in their school.
Hunter said they started the Power Packs in 2010, then started with Portsmouth schools and most people did not know much about it at first. Originally, the Murray’s had been giving to a charity that was not local. “Dr. Murray asked if we could set it up for us right here in our community,” Hunter said and that is how the Smiles for Steven program got its start.
“We think it’s wonderful, we’ve been doing this since 2012, I mean it’s a win-win, people come in and get something they need and then they donate all of that money, plus the teaching and the work they do with them and then the patient just writes the check out to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund,” Hunter said. “Dr. Murray and Rhonda are just amazing and they always work so hard they make sure everyone knows about it.”
Rhonda Murray was quick to add, “All of our girls get the word out, all of our patients that come in, they let them know what’s going on and a lot of people don’t know that they can do this as a tax write-off because they are donating money and that makes people want to do it that much more.”
The total amount made this year from Smiles for Steven was $6,637.00 with patients scheduled beyond October for their whitening appointment.
Steven’s Power Pack is supplying food for 1,320 hungry children every weekend in 20 different schools in Scioto, Pike, & Adams Counties. A full list of schools is listed at the end.
Hunter said, “We are opening pantries for the older kids in schools. We have six pantries already so far. We’ve got a few more schools that we want to talk to about this program. We have gone on faith for a few years and we will continue to do so.“
The Murray’s, not only run this program for those who need it, as in the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, but in August, but they also had their free day of dentistry, where their entire team along with others, donate their time and Dr. Murray donates his work to those who might not otherwise be able to have teeth work done.
Steven’s Power Pack is in the following schools with hopes to expand in the future to others: Scioto County, they operate in Portsmouth and East Portsmouth Elementary, New Boston Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Valley Elementary, West Elementary, Green Elementary, Clay Elementary, Bloom-Vernon Elementary, Minford Elementary, Sciotovillwe Elementary Academy, Wheelersburg Elementary, & STEM Academy. In Pike County, they serve in Jasper Elementary Western Elementary, Waverly Intermediate Elementary, & Eastern Elementary. In Adams County, they serve Manchester Elementary and North Adams Elementary Schools.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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