Drs. Christopher and Brian Klein are involved in numerous efforts intended to enrich families of Southern Illinois. Among those efforts are two scholarship programs funded exclusively by Klein Orthodontics that the doctors hold particularly close to their hearts. Read below to learn about our Smiles of Hope Scholarship and our Brennan Klein Memorial Baseball Scholarship, along with details about how they are awarded.
Smiles of Hope Scholarship
Dr. Christopher Klein and Dr. Brian Klein have witnessed and participated in thousands of smile transformations during their careers. It is rewarding to see all patients’ smile transformations, but perhaps the most rewarding are those for patients who have great needs without the means to address those needs.
For several years, Drs. Christopher Klein and Brian Klein evaluated programs that focused on directing orthodontic care to families in these circumstances. However, none of the programs they evaluated were a good fit because they either did not meet all the potential needs of the recipients, were overly burdensome to administer, or were exclusive to specific organizations.
Drs. Christopher Klein and Brian Klein believed that for an orthodontic scholarship program to be successful over the long term, a partnership needed to be developed with an existing local organization outside of their orthodontic practice. In May 2009, the Smiles of Hope Scholarship Program was conceptualized and founded.
The goal of this program is to overcome the limitations on providing orthodontic scholarships to children in need by creating a partnership between Klein Orthodontics and the local Rotary Clubs in both Jefferson County and Marion County.
The Rotary Clubs in Jefferson and Marion Counties have formed a program partnership with Klein Orthodontics. Both of the participating Rotary Clubs use existing committees, or have established new committees as they see fit, to administer the program in their respective counties.
The Smiles of Hope selection committees for the counties will review applications twice a year, and identify one scholarship recipient each time who meets financial criteria. Klein Orthodontics will determine the candidates’ current orthodontic needs, severity of need, and their overall oral health.
Smiles of Hope scholarships will be awarded twice a year by both Rotary Clubs, for a total of four scholarships per year. Scholarship candidates will be screened in January and August.
The applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Applicants must have resided in the county one year or longer.
- Applicants must be between the ages of ten and 18.
- The applicant’s parents must have a combined income that is lower than 150% of the federal poverty level. If the applicant qualifies for free or reduced school lunches, he or she may be eligible.
All applications need to be mailed to the local Rotary Club. Applications will be considered active for one calendar year and will be made inactivate thereafter. Applicants may reapply as many times as they wish.
The committees will contact Klein Orthodontics with the contact information of the scholarship candidate. Klein Orthodontics will then invite the candidates to come for a screening as soon as possible. Complimentary orthodontic records will be taken on these candidates and reviewed to determine their current orthodontic need (i.e., would the person benefit from treatment within the following 12 months), the severity of their need, and to ensure an adequate level of dental health is met (i.e., lack of adequate oral hygiene, or severe dental decay would make a candidate ineligible for treatment).
After the screening has been completed, Klein Orthodontics will advise the committees if the candidates are eligible. The scholarship program committees will name the recipient of the scholarship for their county once the financial and orthodontic needs are verified.
If the initial candidate in a county is deemed ineligible due to orthodontic need or dental health, the appropriate committee will be contacted to submit a second candidate. Candidates will remain in the applicant pool until their application is inactivated one year after submission.
Klein Orthodontics will contact the recipient of the Smiles of Hope Scholarship to make treatment arrangements. Treatment will begin as soon as any needed dental treatment is completed and the patient is deemed ready for treatment. The scholarship recipient has one calendar year from the time the scholarship is awarded to begin treatment.
If the scholarship recipient is not ready for treatment, for whatever reason, or does not have necessary dental work completed in time to begin treatment during the following calendar year, the scholarship will become invalid.
The scholarships will cover only current orthodontic needs (i.e., either current phase treatment needs or full treatment), one set of retainers, and one year of post-orthodontic retainer supervision. Any future orthodontic needs will be offered treatment for the current treatment fee at the time they are required. This includes replacement of lost or broken retainers, retreatment of orthodontic relapse, subsequent phase treatment, or follow-up orthodontic needs.
Drs. Christopher Klein and Brian Klein are pleased to have the opportunity to be involved in such a worthy cause that makes a lasting, positive impact on the lives of all who are involved in the Smiles of Hope Scholarship Program. Please click here to download the Smiles of Hope scholarship application form.
Brennan Klein Memorial Baseball Scholarship
The Brennan Klein Memorial Baseball Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior from the Mt. Vernon Township High School baseball team who is enrolled in a college or university for the following year. The scholarship, established in 2002 by Dr. Christopher Klein and Mrs. Dianne Klein, is offered in memory of their son Brennan, who was a talented baseball player and beloved teammate at MVTHS.
Each recipient is voted on by his teammates on the merits of success on the field, off the field, and in the classroom. Previous recipients of the scholarship are:
2019, Parker Wielt
2018, Chase Timmons
2017, Chris Hufford
2016, Aaron Pemberton, Gunner Lundius
2015, Zach Brookman
2014, Jake Pike
2013, Collin Young
2012, Nathan Holt
2011, Pierce Borah
2010, Brian Sipe
2009, Ethan O'Neal
2008, Landon Ile
2007, Nick Thompson
2006, John Anderson
2005, Trevor Ile
2004, Ben Staley
2003, Mike Samford
2002, Joey Lamachia