Many thanks to Fish for Teeth Supporters | Letters

This Friday, Jan. 23, Fish for Teeth will be preparing fish tacos ($7 each) at the San Juan Island Community Theater from 11-2 p.m.

Fish for Teeth is starting its fourth year of bringing the Medical Teams International mobile dental van to San Juan County.  Since our first “ToothMobile” visit in 2012, our local volunteer dental professionals have provided an estimated 275 visits, worth around $170,000 in dental services to those who otherwise cannot afford dental care.

The ToothMobile is partially funded by selling fish tacos and our volunteers have become so efficient that the cost of a two-day clinic is nearly covered by taco sales.  Direct donations help fill the gap.  On our journey to this near-sustainable level, the gap had been filled by generous supporting donations from Rotary, the American Legion Auxiliary, Kiwanis, Lions (and Leo’s), and Soroptomists clubs.

In addition to dental hygiene and repair provided at the two-day clinics each January, May, and October, Fish for Teeth is developing a sealant program with the goal of sealing the teeth of every second grader on San Juan Island. We focus on sealant efforts during the May clinic. Children must have a check-up and any dental issues addressed prior to the sealants being applied.

All this cannot happen without our dedicated team of volunteers, and a heart-felt Fish-for-Teeth thank you goes out to each and every one of them for their help with the clinics and fundraising efforts.

Thank you to local dental professionals and “Team Tooth” volunteers for the Oct. 3, 2014 fundraiser: Dr. Michael Horn and assistants Jill Atkins and Lori Miller, Dr. David Tegrotenhois and assistant Kathy Raivo, Dr. Bo Turnage and his assistant, Dr. Michelle Reynolds and assistant Andrea Champlin, ToothMobile driver Neyibe Tamboer, clinic coordinators/schedulers/helpers Liz Pillow, Margaret Johnson, Nancy Best, Joanne Runyan, and Elaine Pretz.

Thank you also to the Team Taco:  Jim Gruneisen, Bruce Robinson, Eric and Meichelle Roberts, Amy Wynn, Tori Zehner, Ted Strutz, George and Pauline Mulligan, Mary Ellen Courtney, Chad Peterman and Aimee Urata, Sharon Lannon, Penelope Haskew, and Matt and Maureen Marinkovich.

Our appreciation of ongoing support goes out to the following; Mullis Center for providing a site for the dental van and space to conduct patient registration, Ace Hardware and San Juan Island Community Theater for providing a site for the ToothMobile, Cynthia’s Of Course catering for providing space to prep our taco ingredients, Pablito’s Taqueria for a great deal on delicious salsa, and Matt’s Fresh Fish for donating the wild Alaskan rockfish.

And of course thank you to all who come and enjoy our tacos and supports our efforts!

Matt Marinkovich
President Fish for Teeth