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Patronato Pro Niños boasts new starting line-up

By Gregory R. Gunter

Just about the time the Super Bowl rolls around each year, Patronato Pro Niños rotates the starting bench. And for 2012, this year’s starting string boasts an amazingly talented roster of new officers.

San Miguel residents likely know that Los Niños, as the group is often called, have nothing to do with football; their communications chair simply likes to keep the news interesting while relaying a serious mission. Newcomers to San Miguel, however, might enjoy learning that Los Niños has provided dental and medical care to San Miguel’s neediest children since 1970.

For 2012, Patronato Pro Niños voted Beltway candidate Jay Moskowitz as President. As quarterback for one of San Miguel’s largest NGO’s, Moskowitz addresses challenges like maintaining the mission for Los Niños in the face of declining community participation, a challenge all non-profits struggle with in this economy. Well equipped for such challenges, however, Moskowitz brings a wealth of experience from his tenure at a major think tank in the world of behavioral and social sciences.

Los Niños’ new Vice President, Lisa Thomas, provides an astounding degree of continuity to the Board, having proven adept at tackling nearly every fundraising event since her tenure in 2009. Thomas traded her home turf of Santa Barbara five years ago armed with years of experience with the Old Mission in her community, and previously served as a member of the vestry of St. Paul’s church.

New secretary Gail Tobey returns to Los Niños, having previously served on the group’s medical committee where she put good use to her background in nursing and a Ph.D. in psychology. She taught at Villanova University, the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University before opening a private practice as a clinical psychologist in Maryland.

Barbara Hardin, a local CPA with a background in medical administration, proves amply capable in her role as 2012 treasurer for Los Niños.

To bolster the entire starting line-up for 2012, Patronato Pro Niños added a substantially larger group of general board members to supplement the roles of continuing and new committee heads, and boasts an exciting year for development and community outreach. Exceeding the group’s historical growth proves challenging—a new, permanent facility now staffed by three dentists, a doctor and support staff opened in 2010, and the group showcased a second dental van in 2011— but the new board already demonstrates the vigor for such challenges.

To volunteer in improving a child’s health, or simply to donate to Patronato Pro Niños, visit their web site at and learn how the worth of child’s smile when shedding the burden of poor health proves priceless to their roster of volunteers.

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