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Charitable legacy: Son of GKAS co-founder continues tradition

Indianapolis — Dr. Jeff Dalin is used to being in charge. 

As the co-founder of the Give Kids A Smile program, Dr. Dalin has provided direction to events around the country for almost 17 years. He’s always the head cheese, big kahuna and every other cliché name you can think of for the word “boss.” 

But there’s a new Dalin on the Give Kids A Smile scene, and on Feb. 16, he was the boss. 

Andy Dalin, Dr. Dalin’s 25-year-old son and a third-year dental student, was the co-chair of the GKAS event at the Indiana University School of Dentistry. Andy worked with IU faculty to coordinate the logistics for the event, including collaborating with neighborhood schools and agencies to let them know about the free access to oral health care event; creating education and entertainment for the children while they waited; and assigning tasks to the 115 volunteer dental students, dentists, faculty and others who helped out. Including his dad. 

On that day, the tables were turned and Andy was the boss, not Dr. Dalin. 

“I didn’t have to be in charge. I was happy,” Dr. Dalin said. “You can’t even put into words how happy and proud that I am.”