They started lining up before midnight with severely decayed teeth, untreated diabetes and blurry vision.
By the time a free one-day dental, health and vision clinic opened at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, there were at least 500 people queued up outside the César Chávez Community Center on Riverside's Eastside.
Inside, dentists, doctors, optometrists, nurses, acupuncturists and other volunteers — some who flew in from as far away as the Bay Area — were preparing for the onslaught of patients.
More than 1,000 people were treated, obtained free glasses or received blood-pressure, glucose, bone-density and other screenings during the eight-hour clinic, said Yolanda Esquivel, chairwoman of the event. Fitness demonstrations, health workshops and other services also were offered.
Manuel Sanchez, of Perris, had spent months in pain every time he ate because he couldn't afford to get his tooth taken out.
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