Millions of children go to bed every night in pain due to dental problems that their parents can't afford to fix. Here's what we are doing about this tragedy.

I recently reached my 60th birthday. That, in and of itself, is not particularly notable except for how I have chosen to celebrate it. But indulge me for a moment while I tell you a quick story.

 About four years ago, Mary Conditt, who at that time was working for Kerr, paid us a visit to discuss products. During the course of conversation, I digressed and mentioned to Mary that I wanted to run a marathon by the time I was 60. Well, Mary, who was and still is an accomplished runner who has completed about a dozen of these 26.2 mile jogs, pounced on the opportunity and told me, in essence, that she will make sure I accomplish this goal. Shortly thereafter, a copy of Runner's World magazine arrived at my door, followed by a Garmin GPS running computer. The pressure was starting already and I still had almost four years to go!

Click here to read more ...

Click here to see the video of the actual run.


 

Around that time, I was also fortunate enough to be inspired by Dr. Cherilyn Sheets to get involved in the formation of the National Children's Oral Health Foundation. While my contributions to the NCOHF consisted of some limited funds and lots of time as a board member, I decided that I needed to do more to help all the kids of America who still go to bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT in pain due to their lack of adequate dental care.

My training progressed to the point that I was ready for the first real test, which turned out to be the Houston Half Marathon in January of this year. After successfully passing that test, all I now had to do was double the mileage! A daunting prospect indeed. But I was not to be denied.

Combining my quest to run a marathon with a fund raiser was a no-brainer. But, in these uncertain financial times when the daily headlines are enough to make any businessperson head for a cocoon, I knew I needed to come up with a program that would be affordable for all parties. So here's the deal:

Click on this link http://www.ncohf.org/toothfairyrun.php    

It will take you to the official Web site of the Toothfairy Run. As you scroll down the page, you'll see the contribution area. While the "match our miles" dropdown starts at $10/mile ($262), there is also an area for "Other Donations" where you can insert any amount you deem appropriate.

We know there are many worthwhile causes to support, but we picked children's dental care because that is the world we live in every single day. If we in the dental profession won't help, who will these kids turn to for treatment?

You may be wondering why we support the National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) instead of other worthwhile programs such as Give Kids A Smile and Oral Health America. The simple answer is that NCOHF is the only nonprofit national organization dedicated to providing care to kids on a continuing basis through an association of community-based dental care centers.  

Our goal for this inaugural fundraising run is $100,000, which is a relatively moderate amount compared to other efforts. But we feel that many contributions from dentists, dental staff members, and even patients can put us over the top.

Please help us help the kids. Talk to your staff and patients about this urgent need and then click the link - your contribution will be GREATLY appreciated.

Michael