When Dublin resident Julie Homon and her husband, Jim, formed KidSMILES, they did so with the goal of providing dental care to children who couldn't afford it otherwise.
"There's so many kids that fall through the cracks," Homon said.
Homon will be recognized for the creation of her non-profit organization during the Dublin Women's Philanthropic Club's Snowflake Gala: Winter Wineland, to be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Country Club at Muirfield Village, 8715 Muirfield Drive.
The philanthropic club decided to honor Homon because of the community need she addressed, said Pamela Stein, Dublin Women's Philanthropic Club Snowflake Gala co-chairwoman.
"It's come a long way from the beginning," Stein said.
Homon, a former club member for about five years, said she and her husband, an orthodontist, created KidSMILES between 2008 and 2009, receiving non-profit status in 2010.
A partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation began in 2011, and in 2012, the foundation supplied KidSMILES with seed money to open a dental clinic off of Bethel Road and state Route 315, Homon said.
The clinic now has three part-time staff members, and the Blue Jackets Foundation recently awarded $230,000 to the organization to hire a part-time dentist to address the waiting list of children requiring care, Homon said.
Volunteer opportunities with the organization include cleaning the clinic, filling goodie bags for children and helping with mailings. Information is available via kidsmilesclinic.com.
Homon said because of her previous participation with the women's club, the recognition she is to receive during the gala is particularly meaningful.
"The honor means so much more to me because of that," she said.
The women's club has supported KidSMILES since the organization's inception, donating money for educational outreach, providing toothbrushes and volunteering, Homon said.
The Snowflake Gala, the club's fourth such event, will provide funding for additional women's club projects.
The gala is the largest fundraiser for the club and annually brings in as much as $18,000 for community projects, Stein said.
The club focuses on higher education and supporting families and women in need.
Last year, club members awarded $14,500 in grants for women continuing their education despite significant obstacles and college scholarships for local students.