Faith community members and local leaders met at in Reston on Sunday in support of expanding dental care for low-income adults in the area.
More than 350 members of faith communities and civic organizations in the Reston-Herndon gathered under the banner of V.O.I.C.E. (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement). Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova and Virginia Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston), along with other elected leaders, voiced their support for the V.O.I.C.E. effort to put a full-time dentist dedicated to serving Fairfax residents at the Sterling location of the Northern VA Dental Clinic.
V.O.I.C.E. leaders have already raised $140,000 of the $200,000 needed to cover the cost for two years from private donors. Bulova and Howell announced an additional $10,000 pledge by Inova and agreed to work with V.O.I.C.E. until the full $200,000 is committed.
V.O.I.C.E. leaders acknowledged a $100,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor, and the $40,000 V.O.I.C.E. leaders had raised to match that offer to date: $20,000 from Delta Dental Foundation, $10,000 from Molina Health Care, and $10,000 from INOVA Hospital.
Nurse practitioner Lori McLean noted that V.O.I.C.E. leaders are not asking for county or state support in these lean times.
“Today, we are here to ask our elected officials to throw their weight behind this effort and get the remaining $60,000 from some of our successful corporations here in Fairfax," she said.
Bulova and Howell, along with Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, and Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston) pledged to follow up with Reston Hospital/HCA and others to seek another $50,000. Before the meeting ended, the Jon C. Burr foundation came forward with another $5,000.