Annie's Smile 2015

$4,393 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 75 people in 37 months
Is there anyone in Tucson who DOESN’T know Annie Schmitt? Annie is a major hub of our beloved community, which extends across the Southwestern desert and far beyond. And to know her is to love her.

Here is why I call Annie a “hub”… If you look closely at any meaningful event or organization or period of your life in Tucson (or any of the other burgs Annie has graced,) you will probably find her smiling face somewhere in the workings of it. Probably at the ground floor. She was an original Kitchen Musician founder of TKMA, President of the Shanti Foundation, on the frontlines of Tucson’s first response to the AIDS crisis and the founding of Wingspan… All you have to do is sit down with Annie for a cup of joe, let the stories start pouring out, and you’ll probably find your own Annie connection. And no doubt a good belly laugh and a few tears.

I became more closely acquainted with Annie through music in the last few years, but I only recently put two-and-two together that it was she who sold me my first guitar, at Mingus Guitars back in 1977. I will never forget being a 13-year-old aspiring player and the big, warm smile of the blond girl behind the register who warned me to always face the guitar away from me when tightening new strings, while showing me the scar on her face. (I always do now, of course.)

Annie’s big smile is in trouble now, and I’m thinking if we put our resources together we can get her a new one.

As you probably know, Annie has survived a smorgasbord of health problems over the years. A few years back, a perfect storm fronted by scleroderma caused her mouth to become chronically dry, which, despite her lifetime of good dental hygiene, has resulted in all of her teeth disintegrating and breaking apart in a pretty awful way.

Annie desperately needs oral surgery and dentures.  

The money stuff:

Working through a dental school up in Phoenix, we’re looking at about $4000 for the main oral surgery and other minor work, then $3000 for the new pearly whites. Annie’s insurance can cover $1500 of the minor work, and she can kick in the extra $500 or so plus the assorted unexpected costs. That leaves $5000. If we even get close to the $4000 in this drive, we can at least get the surgery part done.

Surgery, etc: $4000

Dentures: $3000

Annie can pay: - $2000

Total goal: $5000

Every Tuesday in February, Donna at Delectables on 4th Avenue is generously donating a percentage of her sales to the cause. The February fund drive will culminate in a music and art event at Delectables March 1, from noon to 6pm.

Throughout this drive, on this site, we’ll be inviting Annie stories from our extended family of friends. So check in often, listen to your heart, and let’s make something good and necessary happen for an old friend.

Big Love,
Mitzi Dasheya Cowell
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It is really Update Time!

Since last May when Mitzi Cowell pulled together this wild idea, to help me with the cost of dental surgery and dentures, a lot of amazing things have happened. The SmileFest day of music at Delectables, donations of nearly $5000 on GoFundMe, Randal & Polly letting us use the beach house in Rocky Point so I could have all the uppers extracted, and then spending nearly a year wondering if I would ever have my smile back. I had temporary "healing denture" which let me smile but not chew and a series of protrusions began growing throughout my gums and roof of my mouth. You can't fit nice teeth until those stop growing and go away! I was disheartened. Until this May when I went to the local Aspen Dental where they took new impressions, requested photos of me with my own teeth, and today fitted me with teeth that are super comfortable and even look like my own teeth! I went right across the road and had a turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich and bit it like a pro!

The list of all my magical friends who helped on this is really to long to post. But you are my angels! You have no idea how much I have missed smiling... It is a great cure for lots of things!

I love helping folks when I can and now can smile when I do it. Know that this magic that passes love along with the money is a wonderful thing!
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Hi everybody! Annie here!
I wanted to let everyone get an update and picture of me actually smiling.
Jaime and I went to Rocky Point / Puerto Peñasco for a week. Stayed at a friends beach house which was both amazing and comfortable. The first day I went and got impressions made and met with the dentist. Dr. Ubaldo Cuadras. He said that he didn't think we needed to take out all my bottom teeth... a couple and then two root canals but then a partial instead of full denture. All said... he also said the tops were coming out as soon as he could get my temporary healing denture made... so he took out 13 teeth and sets of broken roots on Tuesday afternoon and we drove back on Wednesday.
I'll go back in a few months and get my permanent denture and get the other surgical work done... then wait a couple months and go back to get the bridgework.
Sure takes a lot of time but at least it lets us return to Mexico.
To all my amazingly loving friends who gave of their hard earned funds, their music, their art, their hours and their hearts to make this happen... Thanks are not even enough.
I can't chew yet really but am looking forward to it. I realize that I have not opened my mouth in public for several years and it is a strange feeling to be able to smile. I have missed it.
I have carefully budgeted to make sure it will all get done. It could not have happened without going to Mexico... I recommend this guy to anyone who needs attention for their teeth. He is compassionate and good.
A special pile of thanks to Mitzi Cowell and Karen Falkenstrom for starting this crusade. And to Donna DiFiore at Delectables and Kathy Rote for helping head up the work to put on that Marvelous SmileFest at Delectables. There are more, fun, thanks ahead.
For now... take a look at this smile and know that "These teeth belong to YOU!"
It feels great to smile again!
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Sunday's Smile Fest at Delectables on 4th Avenue was a wonderful day of music, art, friends and food. The Silent Auction raised about $900 and the water jug that Karen hauled around all day garnered $960. So we can say progress has been made!! If we can get this donation site to hit the $5000 mark it would be great. Oral surgeons get paid well. Ugh.
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Donor Molly Holzschlag posted:
So many have been giving to me, I thought I'd pass some love to my wonderful friend Anne — if you've been following along here at Molly Central, Anne has been one of the most supportive and active friends throughout my own challenges. She is a champion — of so many. Heck, just read what our mutual (although I've not seen her in many years) friend Karen {Ed. note: Mitzi, actually, but people confuse us all the time, lol] has written and see for yourself. Here's to that precious smile that's kept me going through some truly dark times. I love you!
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Read a Previous Update
Donna DiFiore
37 months ago

Annie has been instrumental in so many wonderful causes and events in our Tucson community. It is such a happy moment for me to see all of you love her and support her in her hour of need. Thank you so much Tucson.

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$4,393 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 75 people in 37 months
Created January 21, 2015
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$200
Anonymous
30 months ago
JM
$100
Jean McClelland
35 months ago

Love you, girl!

$10
Anonymous
35 months ago
DM
$20
DIANA MARCZAK
36 months ago

wish it could be more

$200
Anonymous
36 months ago
$20
Anonymous
36 months ago
$100
Anonymous
36 months ago
Donna DiFiore
37 months ago

Annie has been instrumental in so many wonderful causes and events in our Tucson community. It is such a happy moment for me to see all of you love her and support her in her hour of need. Thank you so much Tucson.

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