‘Angel of Dental Clinic’ offers holiday art special

Local artist Russ Cannizzaro will donate half of holiday proceeds to SVdP Dental Clinic.

It felt almost magical the evening Russ Cannizzaro first learned of the miracle smiles forever changed by the charity Dental Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul.

It was Christmas Eve 2018, and the Cannizzaro family had come to offer a donation to the nonprofit and take a tour. The Dental Clinic team had just wrapped up a Christmas party with patients — uninsured families and children — whose smiles they had helped become healthy and vibrant again through greatly discounted or free dental care. That’s when Russ met Dr. Ken Snyder, the executive dental director of the clinic, who took the time to give Russ a personal tour.

“I think God sends you the right people at the right time,” Dr. Snyder said.

That evening and the work of the SVdP Dental Clinic forever stayed with Russ. Now every holiday season, he offers his support to the clinic in a very special way.

As a local artist, Russ designs, creates and sells art pieces through his online business, Russ Cannizzaro Design at artdecoranddesign.com. For the second year in a row, Russ Cannizzaro Design will donate half of all holiday proceeds to the SVdP Dental Clinic to help the team bring more healthy smiles to patients who wouldn’t be able to afford the dental care otherwise.

Shoppers can find all kinds of artwork easily transformed into prints, canvases, decor, tote bags, apparel, greeting cards and more.

“Just by purchasing your greeting cards there, you could be helping us buy more smiles next year and support the mission and work in the clinic,” Russ said.

It’s not the first time Russ has used his artistic talent to help the Dental Clinic. One of his own works hangs in the hallway – a collage of patient portraits specially designed just for the clinic.

Emily Greenberg, a dental student with the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, and Berenice Burruel, a dental assistant, clean the teeth of a 7-year-old at St. Vincent de Paul’s dental clinic for children inside the Christown YMCA. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN file photo)

“It was just remarkable to hear what the patients went through, to hear now how [the clinic] affected their lives and how it changed their lives,” Russ said. “That’s what I wanted to show in the mural.”

 “It’s tremendous and it does more than what I had envisioned it would do,” Dr. Snyder said.

For 24 years the SVdP Dental Clinic has served thousand of the less fortunate in the community, providing them dental care that gets them free of pain and infection while giving them back their smiles.

“Now we have the opportunity to serve so many more through Russ’ generosity, his compassion, his caring, and of course, his love,” Dr. Snyder said. “He is just such a blessing. We now call him the angel of the dental clinic.”

Shop Russ Cannizzaro Design for greeting cards and more this season to help support the SVdP Dental Clinic. Visit artdecoranddesign.com.