Donation Supports 16 Area Kindergarten Classrooms

Dentistry by Design recently had the opportunity to present 16 area kindergarten teachers with donations for use in each of their classrooms.  Kindergarten teachers at Algoma, Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay public schools each received a $200 donation as a result of our most recent Volunteer Day held at our Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay an Algoma practices.  The funds were presented to the teachers with the flexibility to use in a manor they felt would best benefit their students and enhance the overall classroom experience. 

“With our most recent volunteer day funds, we knew we wanted to give back to the schools once again and the teachers that play such a pivotal role in our children’s lives.  We selected the 5K teachers because there are many things they need for their classrooms and more often than not their budgets are small so they end up using their own money to stock their rooms. With this donation they can hopefully buy extra books, plan a fun field trip or a class party and not worry where the money will come from.” – Dr. Gina Grenfell, co-owner of Dentistry by Design Sturgeon Bay.

“My mother was a teacher for 28 years.  Growing up I experienced first-hand the dedication of time, energy and resources it took to ensure that her students had the best experience possible. So, being able to utilize my professional skills along with those of our team members as a way to give back to area teachers is such a wonderful gift. We really want them to know we appreciate all that they do!” – Dr. John Sledge, owner of Dentistry by Design Sister Bay.

Dentistry by Design’s Volunteer Day is a collaboration between our team members and patients.  It combines the skills of our team with the needs of our patients as a means to give back to the community.

We aim to have three volunteer days a year at each of our three locations; Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay and Algoma.  On each of those days our team members volunteer their time and talents to provide dental care to our patients. Two-thirds of that half day’s production is donated back to the community, with only a third retained to cover expenses like lab fees and supplies that pertain to that specific day.  Our team members that volunteer their time, collectively agree on how they want the funds to be distributed in the community.

Since the inception of the program in 2014, with the help of our patients we have proudly donated over $76,600 to individuals and families in need as well as various groups and organizations in the Door and Kewaunee County communities. Thank you to all who have made this possible as we could not have done it without you!

History of Dentistry by Design’s Volunteer Days

Dentistry by Design’s “Volunteer Days” began back in 2014 as a way to utilize the skills of our team members to give back to those in our community. We strive to have three volunteer days per year at each of our locations; Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay and Algoma.  On each of these days our team members, who previously agreed to volunteer a half day, come in on their day off to see patients for dental cleanings and various procedures. What makes this day different from any regular clinic day is that not only is our team volunteering their time, but they donate two-thirds of the funds they receive to the community.

“When the team donates their time, it eliminates our greatest expense. We then take two-thirds of that half day’s production and donate it back to the community. We retain a third to cover expenses like lab fees and supplies that pertain to that specific day, but nothing more. With donated time and expertise and only having to cover costs we incur from outside sources we are able to make a more impactful donation.” states DBD Controller, Teri Hooker.

Sturgeon Bay Dentists, Sister Bay Dentists and Algoma Dentists Give Back to Their CommunityOur volunteer days were established as a result of an unsuccessful attempt to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity. Dr. Paul Feit states, “Originally we wanted to get a crew of DBD team members together to help build a house for a family in need, but due to conflicting schedules and weather challenges our team was unable to help build in 2014. We all felt strongly about giving back so we decided that the best way to do so was to utilize our professional talents. We presented the idea and our amazing team jumped on-board right away. It is a great way to help organizations like Habitat and individuals in our area in need in a way that fits into our busy schedules.”

Our volunteer days are a collaboration between our team members and patients. Since the inception of the program in 2014 we have been able to donate more than $52,000 to various organizations and individuals and families in need in the Door County and Kewaunee County communities. The donation recipients from each volunteer day are collectively agreed upon by our DBD team members.

Some of the organizations that have received funds from our volunteer days, since 2014 include Backpack Buddies, Bark for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin, Boys and Girls Club of Door County, Door County 4K & 5K Teachers, Door County High School Senior Banquets, Door County Veteran’s Council, Friends of Crescent Beach, Go Bo Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, HELP of Door County, Loaves & Fishes, Neighbor to Neighbor, Northern Door Children’s Center, Open Door Bird SanctuaryRonald McDonald House CharitiesRoots Revival, Special Olympics, Sturgeon Bay Kiwanis ClubThe Ridges Sanctuary, and United Way of Door County.

Numerous individuals and families who have fallen on hard times and/or facing major health challenges have also received donations, however out of respect for their privacy we do not list them.

The success of our volunteer days wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful team members who give freely of their time and talents as well as our amazing patients who schedule their treatment on these days, it is a collective effort by all that benefits our friends and neighbors!

Providing Dental Care in Honduras

Dr. Paul Feit’s Mission Trip to Honduras!

I have heard many wonderful things about Ahuas, Honduras from my friend Rick Nelson, who has spent a great deal of time there over the years. Up until now, we have only been able to help the people of Ahuas through donations from Dentistry by Design.  Thanks to the great team of dentists at DBD I was able to remove myself from the schedule for a week and go see for myself the place and people that have profoundly impacted Rick’s life.
Door County Dentist Dr. Paul Feit donates time in Honduras to help with oral healthcareMy journey was eye-opening to say the least.  I traveled with Sturgeon Bay’s Amie Glasheen (pictured on left), who is a fourth-year dental student at Marquette.  She was my assistant and also helped treat patients in the dental clinic in Ahuas.  Third-year Marquette dental student Mariella Kruthoff (pictured on right) was also part of our team.  Mariella interpreted for us as well as provided care to some of the patients. We were met by Rick who got us to the village safely and provided us with room and board during our stay.

Door County Dentist Paul Feit and the airplane used to fly into HondurasThere are only two ways into Ahuas, by dugout canoe or airplane.  Here we are unloading our gear from the twin turbine that we just landed in on a semi-gravel strip in Bruce, Honduras. This is the terminal, puddles and all.  We transferred our four hundred pounds of gear and four passengers into a Cessna 206 and somehow managed to get off the ground in route to Ahuas.  As a fellow Cessna pilot, you can imagine my surprise when I realized my seat was not attached to the airplane.  I had a hard time deciding if I was better off with the seat belt on or off.
Door County Dentist Dr. Feit and Amie working in the dental clinic in Hondruas

Arriving safely in Ahuas, we began our mission work. The dental room was powered by a combination of solar power and generator.  The equipment is old and very used, but worked as we needed it to.  My operator stool had been duct taped and only had 4 out of five wheels. Although new equipment would be ideal, shipping it to the clinic often costs many times more than the price of the equipment, which is an expense they cannot afford.

Amie, Mariella and I treated over 100 patients in 4.5 days.  We filled dozens of teeth and extracted over 170 teeth.  The residents of Ahuas have previously only had access to a dentist one week a year.  For the last twelve years, a couple from Ohio has graciously gone down to Ahuas one week a year to provide dental care.  We were the first team to go there to focus on Oral Surgery.  You can imagine there was no shortage of work for us.
Door County Dentist Dr. Feit and a patient he worked with in Honduras

The heat was so extreme in Ahuas that by 10 a.m., which is when this picture was taken, I had already sweat through my scrub top.  I carried a towel to dry my hands enough so I could put my gloves on for procedures.  The woman pictured here walked an hour each way, for three days straight, until we were able to get her to the front of the line.  She had three infected teeth and had been in pain for months. We were able to get her out of pain and treat her to the best of our ability.

Door County Dentist Dr. Feit and team work with local Honduras Children Teaching Them Oral HygieneWe also visited the Christian School in Ahuas which had about 50 students.  We gave them a toothbrush, paste, fluoride treatment and an exam as well as notebooks, colored pencils, stickers, scissors and a soccer ball.  Here they are getting a lesson from Amie and Mariella on the proper way to brush their teeth.

I am still sitting back mentally digesting this trip.  I can’t believe what we saw there.  What a different world.  In America, we are more fortunate than we even know.  We should all pause and give thanks for our many blessings!

Community Benefits from DBD Volunteer Workday

Our volunteer workday utilizes the skills of our team members as a means to give back to the wonderful communities we are apart of.  The volunteer workday occurs three times a year at both our Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay offices (Algoma will begin in 2016).  On each of those days our amazing team members, who previously agreed to volunteer a half day, come in on their day off to see patients for dental cleanings and various procedures.  What makes this day different from any regular clinic day is that not only is our team volunteering their time, but they donate two-thirds of the funds they receive to the community.

Boys&GirlsClub

DBD team members drop off a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Door County.

“When the team donates their time, it eliminates our greatest expense.  We then take two-thirds of that half day’s production and donate it back to the community.  We retain a third to cover expenses like lab fees and supplies that pertain to that specific day, but nothing more.  With donated time and expertise and only having to cover costs we incur from outside sources we are able to make a more impactful donation.” states DBD Accountant, Teri Hooker.

Our volunteer workdays were established as a result of an unsuccessful attempt to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity.  Dr. Paul Feit states, “Originally we wanted to get a crew of DBD team members together to help build a house for a family in need, but due to conflicting schedules and weather challenges our team was unable to help build in 2014. We all felt strongly about giving back so we decided that the best way to do so was to utilize our professional talents.  We presented the idea and our amazing team jumped onboard right away.  It is a great way to help organizations like Habitat and individuals in our area in need in a way that fit into our busy schedules.”

Presenting a donation to Southern Door Elementary teachers.

Southern Door Elementary teachers receive a donation from DBD.

Our volunteer workdays are a collaboration between our team members and patients, with our team members collectively agreeing on who the funds are distributed to. Since the inception of the program in 2014 we are proud to announce that we have donated approximately $29,000 to individuals and families in need and various organizations in the Door County community. Organizations that have benefited include Backpack Buddies, Bark for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin, Door County 4K & 5K Teachers, Door County High School Senior Banquets, Door County Veteran’s Council, Go Bo Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Loaves & Fishes, Neighbor to Neighbor, Northern Door Childcare Project, Special Olympics, The Boys and Girls Club of Door County, and The Ronald McDonald House Charities.

We would like to thank our amazing patients for helping us with our Volunteer Workdays. We couldn’t have done this without your continued support and patronage to our practices.