From left: Dr. Paul Helpard, Dr. Mike Finn, Dr. Sarah Reynhoudt and Dr. Andy Wong celebrate another day of providing free dental care to those who can’t normally afford it last January. They did so again this year and were joined by Dr. Michelle Kosmowski (not pictured). Mirror File Photo

Campbell River city councilor recognizes dentists’ giving

Dr. Mike Finn and others take one day per year to provide free dentistry to those in need

It’s not often city councillors publicly thank a dentist during a city council meeting.

But this week, Coun. Larry Samson took a moment to make sure five local dentists and their staff got just that.

“On Jan. 28, they gave up their time, gave up their equipment, gave up all the services required to provide free dental care to 64 citizens of Campbell river who, on a regular basis, can’t afford the dental care that some of us enjoy,” Samson said.

Those dentists, Dr. Sarah Reynhoudt, Dr. Andy Wong, Dr. Paul Helpard, Dr. Mike Finn and Dr. Michelle Kosmowski, Samson said, “provided over $23,000 in free dental service that day, and, again, it was all donated time by them and all their staff.”

This year marked the fifth annual “Smiles from the Heart” event that Dr. Finn started back in 2014 at his office on Dogwood Street.

He decided to take on the project when one of his assistants mentioned to him they knew of an office providing a similar service in Victoria.

“It’s giving back to a community that’s been very good to me,” Finn said just before his second year providing the service.

He’d been practicing in Campbell River for 20 years at the time.

“The least I can do is donate a day.”