News and Events

Student “Electric Run” Team Supports Cleft Surgery, Research and Prevention

Participants at the Electric Run at Candlestick Park.

May  09, 2013

On Saturday April 27, members of the Craniofacial Genetics Laboratory (CFGL) team and students from the Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry joined 10,000 other participants at Candlestick Park for the Electric Run, a dazzling 5K nighttime event featuring creative lighting and DJ-spun music. Proceeds from the run went to SmileTrain to provide free surgery to underprivileged individuals living with cleft lip and palate, as well as fund research into the causes of and preventive strategies for dealing with orofacial clefts.

CFGL Program Coordinator Taran Cheema and Class of 2015 student Helen Berdichevsky recruited student participants at a lunchtime sign-up table, providing information (and cookies), while Dr. Marie Tolarova, professor and director of genetic research and prevention at the Dugoni School, recruited faculty and staff to sponsor DDS and IDS students who were running.

Electric Run

“The response was great and all students who wanted to participate in the Electric Run were sponsored!” says Tolarova happily.

Members of the CFGL team volunteered their time with the Electric Run Team in preparation for the big event day. The week-long preparation involved helping with registration, packet pickup, crowd control, and merchandise sale, contributing to the overall success of the event.

Electric Run volunteers

Student volunteers helped with registration and merchandise sales.

Smile Train was founded in 1999 with a mission to ensure that every child born with a cleft anywhere in the world has the opportunity to live a full, productive life. Smile Train has provided more than 850,000 free cleft surgeries to children in developing countries. Two years ago Smile Train generously supported the dental school's international workshop CLEFT2011, organized by the Pacific Craniofacial Team and Cleft Prevention Program at the Department of Orthodontics, helping make it possible for participants from developing and undeveloped countries to attend the workshop.

“We hope that events like this continue spreading the knowledge and raise funds to provide much needed help to affected individuals and improve their quality of life. 'Let every child sing and smile,'" says Tolarova.

Category Type: Special Events, Community Outreach

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