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Friday: Children’s Smile Center Poker Run Golf Classic

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In sports, you hear of over-achieving athletes eager to run through a brick wall, so to speak, for their coaches. You might have the same urge after listening to Jackie Barger of the Children’s Smile Center.

You see, he is seeking sponsorship teams for the Children’s Smile Center Poker Run Golf Classic, set for 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 at Silo Ridge Golf & Country Club in Bolivar. The event is part of the fall schedule of the PGA Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, which benefits 49 charities, including the Children’s Smile Center.

A sponsorship team could be significant, considering the Children’s Smile Center helps low-income families whose kids rely on Medicaid and are in need of dental care.

Children's Smile Center Director Jackie Barger
Children’s Smile Center Director Jackie Barger

The non-profit last year completed 13,673 dental appointments for 6,192 children. That’s significant considering the percentage of children on Medicaid in the six counties serviced by the Children’s Smile Center (Barry, Christian, Dade, Lawrence, Stone, Taney). It has offices in Ozark, Aurora and Branson West.

“We don’t charge any of our families to come in,” said Barger, the Executive Director of the Children’s Smile Center since 2010. “It’s very important for us to raise the funds, No. 1. But we don’t do events (strictly) for the money. We do them for the exposure, and the Price Cutter Charity Championship is a good opportunity to show what we’re doing. That provides a platform to tell our story.”

Barger rattled off some startling statistics, noting that 60 to 70 percent of kids in area small towns rely on Medicaid.

Unfortunately, only 10 percent of Missouri dentists accept Medicaid, which has a low reimbursement rate.


Thus, the Children’s Smile Center Poker Run Golf Classic is still seeking sponsorship teams for the golf tournament, such as businesses or individuals.

Each golfer receives a gift package, including apparel, in addition to a continental breakfast, lunch, on-course beverages and snacks and use of carts. Golfers also will play a hand of poker along the course, with winning teams to receive trophies and other giveaways.

To sign up, call the PCCC at 417-887-3400, or call the dental office at 417-582-5439.

“We hope the community will support the golf tournament,” Barger said.