Teeth cleaning give-back supports Silt-based RIDE equine therapy program
With so many local charities, people and stories in the community to choose from each quarter, it can be difficult a selection process for Dr. Corey Johnson and his team to determine which to support through the dental office’s Brighter Smiles: Brighter Futures program.
The initiative, established by the Glenwood Springs dental practice a few years ago to better give back to the community, uses funds from the business’s Custom Teeth Whitening sales to donate to a local charity in the community.
In April, Johnson and his team selected Silt’s Riding Institute of Disabled Equestrians (RIDE) as its next charity.
“We’re lucky enough to be the one chosen this quarter,” RIDE’s Dee Stiers said. “I moved here and knew no one, and now I’ve been here for 25 years. It’s been just amazing to see the support we’ve gotten from the community.”
“This community has just embraced us,” she added.
Stiers took over the program in 1993, just after she moved to the area.
RIDE provides horseback riding therapy to developmentally and physically disabled children and adults throughout the region, and offers equine-facilitated mental health activities.
The program’s work with veterans and the way it helps them get outdoors and smiling is what made it the right choice for the dental program, Johnson said.
“We started the program as a way to give back,” Johnson explained. “It’s a win for everybody. Patients can get their teeth whitened, and proceeds go to a charity we choose each quarter. Our patients really make it happen.”
“By making something like this affordable and accessible, it’s something we can offer that is exciting to people …,” he added.
The Brighter Smiles: Brighter Futures initiative is funded through patients purchasing the custom teeth whitening system, Business Manager Amber Wissing explained.
Each system sells for $105 and the proceeds are donated to the fund. In the past, the largest donation Johnson has made to a local charity has been $5,300.
“It’s awesome, because the programs or charities don’t have to do anything,” Wissing explained. “We just send them money, which helps with some of these smaller projects that don’t have the budget for a marketing team.”
While charities have been mainly chosen in the past, Wissing said they have selected individuals and families in the community going through hard times, as well.
Once, they decided to help an individual going through cancer treatment, and another time they helped support a family that had lost a member in a car wreck.
Wissing said it can serve as something of a vanity project for patients, because if they had always wanted to get their teeth whitened, knowing the proceeds go to charity can help provide incentive.
The dental team determines which charity to fund through solicitations from projects and by other means.
Wissing said Stiers came in and did a presentation on the RIDE program that helped it to ultimately be selected.
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