This past Saturday, September 22th, area Dentists Dr. Thomas Kellogg and Dr. Walter Goddell along with staff and friends came together to host their fourth annual “Free Dental Day”. Over 200 people came; they began to arrive at 2am.
The team opened their doors to those in need and don’t have insurance. They pulled cleaned and even filled teeth. They treated over 70 patients, providing care valued at over $25,000. Along with free dental care there was music, raffles, face painting, prizes, and free food.
The event required over 50 volunteers and took about 6 months to plan. “We had many people who were treated last year who volunteered for working this year’s event.” Said Sarah Tottingham, event coordinator. “Even the patients who were treated at this year’s event wanted to stay and help others after treatment.”
“We have seen a lot of people who have lost their jobs and benefits. We want to be here to help,” Said Beth Roland, another employee.
“There are so many people who have lost their jobs and cannot afford to fix their teeth. Dental pain can be disabling. It is horrible to have to go without treatment. It feels really good to see these people smile again.,” said Dr. Kellogg
Dentistry From The Heart is a national group of dentists that helps support and promote these local events. Local supporting organizations include the Family Resource Center, Shepherd of the Lakes Church, Heart of the Shepherd, Cornerstone Church, Hidden Springs Church, Triple R Ranch Ministries, Gleaners, and Love Inc.
The event is in its fourth year, and has grown every year. “Our long term goal is to establish a permanent free clinic in the Howell area” said Dr. Kellogg
Photographs by Linda Dobel