Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Local dentists donating 25 $100 grants to teachers

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Local dentists not only care about our oral health - they care about our teachers.

Dentists Give Back, a group coined by Dr. Chad and Betty Williams, will award 25 teachers $100 each for their classrooms this fall.

Williams, who owns and operates Smile Gallery in Lebanon, partnered with Dr. Russell Kirk of Tennessee Implant & Oral Surgery, Dr. Charles Daley of Middle Tennessee Periodontics, Dr. Shane Witherow of Witherow Orthodontics and Dr. Suzanne Wallace of Pediatric Dentistry of Lebanon for the project. Each office has donated $500 for a total of $2,500.

Teachers in the Wilson County School District and Lebanon Special School District are encouraged to enter in the Make Teachers Smile giveaway. Entries should include the teacher's name, address, phone number, assigned school, grade they are currently teaching and a note on how additional funds could be used to help their classroom flourish. Entries can be emailed to dentistsgiveback@gmail.com or dropped off at one of the sponsor's offices. The deadline for entries is Aug. 15.

Williams said winners will be drawn at random and announced by Aug. 31.

Williams has two children who attend Castle Heights Elementary in Lebanon. While serving on the PTO his wife, Betty, saw firsthand "that there was a struggle and teachers needed classroom items," Williams explained. "Teachers don't need to worry about if they can send a note home because they don't have enough copy paper ... We felt that it was a perfect opportunity to help."

Information on the Make Teachers Smile giveaway will be sent to local board offices, so that they can be forwarded to each school or teacher. Williams said they will also promote the giveaway online to reach as many educators as possible.

"We want to make sure everyone is reached," he said, adding that checks will likely be presented to winners the first week of September.

A decision has not yet been made if operation Make Teachers Smile will become an annual Dentists Give Back outreach.

"Betty and I will continue to support the local school systems. We will have to check with the other sponsors each year to see if they wish to continue their financial support. We hope to have other events to give back but we do not know what those are at this time."

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