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17th annual GLOW to benefit Children's Smile Center

A GLOW event at Finley River Park in Ozark
Children's Smile Center
A GLOW event at Finley River Park in Ozark

Children's Smile Center serves children who are on Medicaid at three southwest Missouri clinics.

A colorful event this weekend will benefit an area nonprofit.

The 17th annual GLOW is set for Friday night, June 16, at 8:45 at Finley River Park in downtown Ozark. The event, featuring hot air balloons, benefits the Children’s Smile Center, which provides dental clinics for low-income children who are covered only by Medicaid.

The nonprofit operates three clinics – in Ozark, Aurora and Branson West. Its executive director Jackie Barger said they care for children from Christian, Taney, Stone, Lawrence, Dade and Barry Counties.

"In those six counties we know there are 25 to 30,000 kids that are covered by Medicaid, and they just don't have a local dentist that they can go to," said Barger, "so, our clinic locations serve as that local dental office."

And Barger said the need for their services is growing.

The event Friday night is presented by Ozark Chevrolet. Hot air balloons will be tethered to the ground, and lit up for an hour and a half beginning at 8:45.

"You can visit with the pilots and the crew. You can even let them hold your kids in the baskets for a photo," Barger said. "It is a photographer's dream at this event, and it's just a fun time to get to enjoy something you rarely get to see. We're one of the very few hot air balloon events in southwest Missouri."

GLOW is part of the Sertoma Duck Race Festival Friday and Saturday, June 16-17, which is free and open to the public.

Barger said if it rains Friday morning, they won’t be able to hold the event, so watch for updates on the Children’s Smile Center’s Facebook page.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.