Members of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community joined thousands of volunteers on December 16, 2012, for Christmas in the City (CITC), an annual charity that hosts thousands of parents and children from local homeless centers. This year’s CITC took place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and featured a holiday banquet, live entertainment, and a Winter Wonderland complete with games, rides, a petting zoo, and fun activities. Each child received a gift personally chosen from their own Christmas wish list.
The annual Christmas in the City event began with a couple’s wish to engage their own, relatively fortunate children in the true Spirit of Christmas, according to the organization’s website. Jake and Sparky Kennedy held the first CITC in 1989, during which 165 homeless children were entertained, fed, and given individually selected gifts. Christmas in the City now conducts charity efforts all year as an all-volunteer organization.
GSDM volunteers at CITC offered holiday cheer along with dental screenings and interactive activities promoting oral health. The GSDM volunteers were Raya Aleksieva AS 14, Kaveh Baharvand Ahmadi AS 14, Entela Cika DMD 14, John P. Costello DMD 16, Kayla Cuddy DMD 16, Adelina Duka AS 13, Hamidreza Fakri AS 14, Matthew Green DMD 15, Kathy Held, Thomas Hernon DMD 13, Ben Irzyk DMD 14, Ana Keohane, Noelle Kichura BU pre-dental, Snehal Lakhkar AS 14, Jenny Lee BU GMS pre-dental, Kathy Lituri, Marc Horton DMD 14, Mike Mayr DMD 16, Gladys Carrasco AS 13, Pathik Shah AS 14, Azadeh Shahab AS 13, Ali Shazib AS 14, Ajaybin Singh AS 14, Wyatt Traina DMD 14, Maria Vasilakos DMD 15, and Dr. Ana Zea. Also lending a hand were Dr. Ana Zea’s children, Juanita and Nicholas, along with Kathy Lituri’s husband, Steve Bores and their son, Ray.
Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri described the experience: “Christmas in the City was fabulous! We had so much fun and it was such a nice event.”
Said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, “The GSDM volunteer effort represents one of the numerous ways that Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine is meeting its mission to promote excellence in community service to improve the overall health of the global population. I commend the volunteers on their compassion and hard work.”