Selena Lenihan remembers five years ago when she was in real need of orthodontic help.
Now 16, she had significant crowding and overlapping of her teeth leaving no room for her last permanent molars to come in. Her teeth were so crowded, that if left untreated, she would likely have had root resorption, meaning the roots of her permanent teeth could have actually started eating away at each other. Due to the extreme crowding, it was necessary to extract one of her adult molars to make room for her other teeth to come in properly. The problem was, the family didn’t have the funds to pay for treatment.
When Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation learned about Lenihan’s situation the group met with the orthodontic staff working with her case to learn more about her condition and what needed to be done to correct it.
Dr. Tony Lovrovich, the treating orthodontist, and his staff had collaborated with the foundation previously and to make something happen for Lenihan.
A program was put in place and her treatment began in February 2014.
This was made possible through funding from the foundation’s Jack Keller Memorial Fund. The fund was established in 1986 in memory of Jack Keller, a Kirkland dentist and long-time member of the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland. The fund was jointly established by Keller’s family and the club for children who are in medical need of orthodontic treatment but can’t afford it.
Lovrovich treated Lenihan until he sold his practice in October 2017 to Dr. Blake Davis.
Davis was on board with what the foundation was doing for Lenihan and took over her treatment with the same payment plan that had been worked out with Lovrovich.
Lovrovich bought his practice from the Keller family after Keller died. In turn, Davis bought his practice from Lovrovich, continuing the practice in the same location. Davis is supporting the work with the foundation and is now treating two other Kirkland youth who are in the Keller program for orthodontic care.
In October 2018, the day before her 16th birthday, Lenihan braces were removed and she started showing the world her smile. Everything that was dentally necessary had been corrected.
Lenihan is getting ready to enter into the running start program at Lake Washington High School this fall. She will be taking college courses while in high school and is planning on pursuing a career in the medical field.
Lenihan and her father, Christopher Lenihan shared their experience with members of the Kirkland club at a recent meeting.
“Thank you so much to Kiwanis and the Keller Fund,” they said. “Without the help of the Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation, none of this would have been possible. We feel very blessed.”
Through the years, the Keller Fund has provided orthodontic care for almost a dozen children in the Kirkland area.
For more information about the Keller Memorial Fund or the Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation, visit www.kirklandkiwanisfoundation.org.
The Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation recently announced that it awarded eight scholarships to graduating seniors on the Eastside at the end of the school year.
The awards ranged from $1,000 to $2,500. Two $1,500 scholarships were awarded to Juanita High School students and four $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Lake Washington High School students. Additionally, the foundation sponsored two $2,500 Bill Petter Memorial scholarships for graduating seniors who will pursue transportation technology studies at Lake Washington Institute of Technology.
The Kirkland Kiwanis scholarships honor Kiwanis members who have exemplified the Kiwanis tradition of service to the community. The scholarships are based on multiple factors, including academic performance, financial need and community service.
“Supporting our community’s young people is one of the principal purposes of Kiwanis,” said foundation president Bill Badgeley. “The Kiwanis Scholarship Program is one of our most important programs assisting young people in our community.”
Kirkland Kiwanis and the foundation support many programs in the community, including Special Olympics, Eastside Baby Corner, Attain Housing and sponsor Key Club service organizations at Lake Washington High School, Juanita High School, the International Community School and a Builder’s Club at Kirkland Middle School.
Change of venue
The Kiwanis Club of Kirkland is now holding its weekly meetings at the Wilde Rover, 111 Central Way, in Kirkland.
Anyone interested in working to help children and families in need in greater Kirkland is invited to drop by to learn what the group of men and women is doing to help improve the community.
For more information about the Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation and its scholarship program or to learn more about what the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland is doing in the Kirkland community, visit www.kirkland.kiwanis.org.
Bonni Sundberg is the marketing director for the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland and Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation.