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updated: 8/7/2012 11:57 AM

Delta Dental Foundation launches new community grants program

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The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Naperville-based Delta Dental of Illinois, is launching a new community grants program to provide funding for programs and organizations that improve the oral health of children within the state.

The Foundation will award grants of $1,000 to $10,000 to nonprofit organizations that provide oral health education and/or access to oral health resources to Illinois children. Applications can be submitted online at http://www.deltadentalil.com/community--grants -- ddilfoundation by Oct. 1.

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"Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease in the United States, and in Illinois, more than half of third graders have experienced cavities," said Craig Grannon, chair of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Grants Committee. "The need is great, and the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation is committed to improving the health of Illinois children. That's why the Foundation, in partnership with Delta Dental of Illinois, is investing nearly $100,000 to further our commitment by supporting nonprofit organizations with programs focused on improving children's oral health across the state."

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation's community granting efforts launched in 2008. Over the past year, the organization underwent a comprehensive review, including strategically planning its focus and initiatives. The relaunch of the community grants program is one of the first steps resulting from this effort.

"The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation board of directors is enthusiastic to be investing in oral health in communities throughout Illinois. We plan to annually grow this effort to be able to support more programs and organizations with the goal of impacting more children throughout the state," said Frank Maggio, DDS, chair of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation board of directors.

Illinois public charities classified as exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code andpublic or governmental entities, such as a public schools or health departments, are encouraged and eligible to apply.

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