By LINDA LOBECK
IRON MOUNTAIN - Free dental care will again be provided to people in need through the Dentistry From the Heart event on Saturday, Feb. 22, in Iron Mountain.
Many volunteers help to make the Dentistry From the Heart event in Iron Mountain a success, and this year will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22. This is the eighth year that Dr. John Fornetti is hosting the event that provides free dental care to people in need. Shown during last year’s event helping out a patient from Dickinson County are, from left, Dr. Dan Fornetti, assistant Nikki Stachowicz, and in back dental assistant Paula Wender.
This is the eighth year that Dr. John Fornetti has hosted the event that gives people the chance to have a filling, extraction or cleaning for free.
Dentistry from the Heart is a nationwide non-profit organization that provides dental care to those who need it. And each year, dentists from around the country donate their time and services to help people. Since the organization stated in 2001, it has grown and seen great results.
Joining with Dr. Fornetti are a team that includes 75 volunteers, three doctors and many businesses help ing out.
"We hope that Dentistry From the Heart will be a success," he said.
The event is on a first come, first serve basis for people who are 18 years or older. Organizers encourage people to arrive early. Last year, people began lining up for the event at 1 p.m. the day before and camped overnight.
"Please dress warm because the reception area for this event is our outdoor parking lot," organizers said.
Shanna, who took advantage of the event last year, came from Neenah, Wis. She expressed her thanks after driving 136 miles to come to Dentistry From the Heart in Iron Mountain. She was able to get her tooth examined and treated by a professional dentist, saving her more than $240 that day.
"I am hopeful that this event grows throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and goes beyond dentistry," Dr. Fornetti said. "I am optimistic that we can turn this day from free dentistry to free healthcare."
He added that a local pharmacy, The Drug Store in Iron Mountain, has already come forward and offered to donate all the prescriptions for the patients that day.
The new John Fornetti Dental Center is located at 100 S. Stephenson Ave. in Iron Mountain and is the site for the Dentistry From the Heart on Feb. 22. Doors will open at 8 a.m. and close at 3 p.m.
"The goal of the doctors and volunteers is to help as many people as possible," he added.
Anyone interested in helping or attending the Dentistry From the Heart event can get more information by contacting Fornetti at 774-0100.