Annie's Smile 2015

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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Anne Schmitt 
Tucson, AZ
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