Rossville, Indiana may have only about 1,300 residents, but four of them are very special people. And all four work at Rossville Family Dentistry: Dr. Alice Sue Green, her daughter Dr. Jennifer Green-Springer, hygienist Shana Frey, and dental assistant Kelly Hodson.
For the third straight year, these four women organized the Indiana Oral Cancer Awareness Walk. And despite thunderstorms that resulted in attendance that was only about one-third of the 90 or so people who attended the first two walks, these four women weren’t about to allow anything to rain on their parade. Remarkably, the event was still able to generate a best-ever fundraising total of over $5,000. It is believed that no oral cancer walk in the country has ever generated close to that amount on a per capita basis.
Two event participants were able to raise funds online using special software made available by the Oral Cancer Foundation. Four area dental practices also formed fundraising teams that were able to raise significant funds offline.
The event had its genesis almost four years ago when Kelly and Shana were talking about all of the fundraising events being organized for breast cancer. They decided that since they were in the dental profession, they should organize a fundraiser for oral cancer, particularly since they were aware that the disease is one of the few types of cancer that is claiming more victims than ever before. They approach Dr. Green and Dr. Green-Springer and immediately secured their support.
For the 2012 event, which took place on Saturday, April 28, Kelly assumed most of the organizational responsibilities, but the entire staff at Rossville Family Dentistry pitched in to support her. Additional help was provided by Dr. Green-Springer’s husband, who designed a website for the event.
The 30 attendees all stayed dry inside the dental practice. There they enjoyed refreshments, participated in a raffle, and heard a speech by Dr. Michael Bagnoli, an oral surgeon to whom Rossville Family Dentistry refers its patients exhibiting any suspicious oral lesions. Entertainment was also provided for the children in attendance. The rains then let up long enough for everyone to get in about a 1.5 mile walk.
Literally and figuratively, this group wasn’t going to let a thunderstorm rain on its parade. And they also weren’t about to let the fact that they’re from a small town keep them from raising funds that you’d expect from a big city.