Volunteer to provide local dental care for those in need on San Juan Island

  • Wed Jan 16th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by Fish for Teeth

A Fish for Teeth volunteer-crafted fish taco is absolutely delicious. These hefty burrito/tacos are prepared with love, and feature hook-and-line caught Alaskan cod donated by Alaskan Leader Seafoods, with Pablito’s salsa, Tillamook cheese, zesty greens and a squeeze of fresh lime.

These delectable fish-focused hunger-satisfying consumption-units always draw a crowd. That’s good because Fish for Teeth depends on the $8 suggested donation to fix the teeth of island residents who cannot otherwise afford dental care.

Team Taco

The most-visible batch of volunteers is Team Taco, who lovingly prepare, cook and assemble your super-yummy fish taco. There are a few tried-and-true Fish for Teeth veteran Taco Team volunteers who have been in the taco-trenches since the first tooth clinic on a frozen January day in 2012. Starting last year a batch of Kiwanis members dramatically supplemented the taco effort, bringing with them the gold-standard of volunteer food service excellence; thanks go to Stephanie O’day for organizing the Kiwanis contingent and Sarah Younglove also helps with organizing the taco effort. Team Taco is a fun and rewarding piece of volunteer work that is a huge link to Fish for Teeth’s success.

Team Tooth

The Medical Teams International Mobile Dental Van was in Friday Harbor on a three-day tooth-fixing stint from Jan. 10-12. The effort improved the quality of life for over 40 people who would otherwise continue to live with dental pain.

Fish for Teeth was started in 2007, but it took the teamwork and effort of the Fish for Teeth board to bring the MTI van to San Juan Island, which began in 2012. The Fish for Teeth board members are Matt and Maureen Marinkovich, Dr. Michael Horn, Aimee Urata, and Tami Doenges. Standing on committees are Kristen Rezabek, Sandy Rabinowitz, Hayley Day and Sarah Younglove. Dr. Horn handles the task of organizing our local dental professionals who volunteer their time doing this necessary work.

A big thanks to the volunteer dental professionals of this last clinic: Dr. Michael Horn, Barbara Foster, Jennifer Netherton, Dr. David Tegrotenhuis, Kathie Raivo, Erin Quinn, Dr. Michelle Reynolds, Nasaria Lopez, Dr. Luke Daining and Gina Daining. And of course thanks to the many other local dental professionals who have assisted in past dental clinics.

With every multi-day clinic Fish for Teeth sponsors, the Team Tooth volunteer support staff gets the patients connected to the care. Rabinowitz organizes every detail surrounding the dental van, plus she spends a lot of time at the clinics checking people in, along with Hayley Day, Sarah Younglove, Nancy DeVaux, Elaine Pretz, and Phyllis Morrison, and Kristen Rezabek. Charlene Rhodes schedules all of the patients. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone mentioned and also to those who have volunteered in recent clinics but weren’t mentioned here.

Thanks are also due to those who staff the San Juan County Health Department and the San Juan Island Family Resource Center, who assist in the distribution and collection of applications.

Volunteer opportunities

Anyone who would like to support Fish for Teeth as a volunteer on Team Tooth or Team Taco, a little extra help is always needed. Many hands make light work, so for those willing to help, a task will be found. The upcoming Taco-rama on Jan. 18 is pretty well staffed, with the exception of clean-up and dishwashing, if anyone wants to pitch in this Friday afternoon.

Interested volunteers, please send an email to and a Fish for Teeth volunteer will get back to you. Also check out www.fishforteeth.com for more information. Fish for Teeth is a recognized 501-c-3 nonprofit organization.