Patients ranged in age from a 10-month-old girl to a 91-year-old man, and included 22 Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes. Individuals and families who face barriers to dental care on a daily basis sought treatment at this large-scale, charitable event staged near Wausau.
The first patient arrived 36 hours in advance and slept in his car Wednesday night before setting up a lawn chair outside of the clinic entrance around 10 a.m. Thursday.
Clinic doors opened at 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday with care concluding by 5:30 p.m. both days. A total of 8,033 dental procedures were performed, including 1,822 fillings, 1,756 teeth extracted, 593 cleanings and 22 root canals. Several dental labs worked with volunteer technicians to create 90 partial dentures.
The WDA Mission of Mercy is a very memorable experience for volunteers and patients alike, as reflected in this e-mail from Karen E., "I was a patient at the Mission of Mercy in Weston on Friday. My heart is filled with gratitude for the generosity of those who dedicated their time and efforts to this great deed. I will never forget that day in my life and the pure kindness of everyone who cared for me and so many others...I'm not able to find the words to describe the depth to which you've touched my heart and spirit...You are all incredible."
More than 70 organizations and individuals helped make this year's WDA MOM possible with $160,000 in tax-deductible financial and in-kind donations. These gifts defray the costs for dental equipment and facility rental, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food for volunteers and patients. On average, $5 to $7 in care is donated for every one dollar received.
Since 2009, the three WDA Mission of Mercy events have delivered more than $2.9 million in charitable care through more than 5,700 patient visits.
Visit WDA.org for Mission of Mercy photos, patient comments, volunteer testimonials, videos and media coverage from this most recent large-scale, charitable dental care event in Wisconsin.