Columbia, MO 594

Missouri Benevolent Trust

The Missouri Elks state major project since 1962, is the care and treatment of the dental needs of manageable handicapped and crippled children that are on the Missouri Crippled Children's roll or cleared through the local Lodge.

A physically handicapped or crippled child, who is not currently enrolled with the Missouri Crippled Children's Service gains admission to the service through referral by a physician. Treatment of mentally retarted/developmentally disabled adults and children have been added.

Children with developmental disabilities, both physical and mental, find it difficult to locate dental care. With the additional problems of location in rural sections of Missouri where the dental manpower may be low as one or two dentists to the county and financial distress, dental care easily becomes neglected. Frequently, children of this population suffer needless pain and infection due to lack of access to dental care.

This program, the major philanthropic project of the Missouri Elks, was designed to address this need. Utilizing three 33-foot self propelled dental vans, the program brings accessible free dental services to the areas of the state that need it most.

Each dental van contains two dental chairs including tray equipment with waiting area adjacent to the treatment area. The dental vans are fully accessible with the addition of a wheelchair lift at the side of the unit. Since they are self-contained, all that the units require are a place to park, electricity and water, and they are open for business.

The vans, each staffed with a dentist and dental assistant, stay from three to 12 weeks at any one location.

Each year hundreds of deserving children and adults receive treatment at no cost which would ordinarily cost many thousands of dollars in estimated fees. A special Fellowship is awarded annually to Children's Mercy Hospital for training in handicapped children's dental problems.

The Missouri Elks Dental Care Program's Mobile Dental Units, are purchased and equipped by the Elks. These three mobile units provide service to the entire state. The Elks Dental Program is administered by the Missouri Department of Health and the Truman Medical Center. The Hospital staff the units, schedule and complete visits, and report to the Director of the Missouri Elks Benevolent Trust, while the Missouri Department of Health, provides administrative expertise to operate and coordinate the program.

The dental unit was recently at our Lodge from to serve the Missouri counties of Boone, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau and Saline.


To establish a pledge, a donor must tell us the total amount of the pledge and installment schedule. A donor can choose to receive a pledge reminder following one of these pledge schedules; annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and monthly. Installments must be at least $10. Donors can renew completed pledges through their pledge reminders.

Donations are payable by check. For an easy to use donation form contact our Lodge Benevolent Trust Chairperson; Betsy Sabel.