Some special gifts for the holidays!

Dec. 1, 2001
I am writing this from my hotel room in Newark, N.J., on the day after American Airlines Flight 587 crashed into a quiet neighborhood just a few miles away from JFK airport.

I am writing this from my hotel room in Newark, N.J., on the day after American Airlines Flight 587 crashed into a quiet neighborhood just a few miles away from JFK airport. Apparently the result of a mechanical failure, the crash led to another sad day for the people of New York City. Again, there has been a tremendous outpouring of support for the families and friends of the victims killed or injured in this tragedy.

Our lives were once again disrupted. Airports closed down, and flights were cancelled. I was trying to get to Newark, but I finally settled for Philadelphia and drove the rest of the way. What may have once been a major travel problem became only a minor irritation. My plane to Philadelphia was filled with passengers trying to get to New York and Newark. We swapped stories about our travels and soon realized that we were the lucky ones. We realized that life is too precious to waste worrying about the small problems.

This leads me into telling you about the Viewpoint on page 14. Doug Young has written a great article titled, "The Gift of Hope." Doug is a friend who called me a few weeks ago, asking if I would publish an article that he wanted to write. Those of you who know Doug and who have heard or read his wonderful stories know that I told him to just get it done. When I received his email with the article, I read it at once. When I finished, I had a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. Thanks, Doug, for a great piece of writing and a wonderful message.

Share Doug's Viewpoint with the people who work with you every day in your practice. Then implement the wonderful ideas that he presented and become a profession of helpers. Start with the next patient you see!

Another good friend of mine from Long Island, N.Y., Dr. Marc Herman, emailed me with a great idea for helping victims' families in the September 11 tragedy. Through December 31, donations can be made to help the children of the police officers and firefighters killed in the World Trade Center tragedy. Checks should be made out to the "Smiles for Life Foundation" and sent to the Crown Council, 923 East Executive Park Drive, Suite C, Salt Lake City, UT 84117. Every penny donated will go to the children of those New York heroes, via the New York City PBA Widows' and Children's Fund and the USA Widows' & Children's Fund.

Please mark the memo portion of your check "WTC Tragedy," so monies will be separated from the annual Smiles for Life Campaign.

Marc also would like to sign up dentists to treat the children of the 347 firefighters and the 23 police officers who were killed on that terrible day. Treatment would continue through age 18 and would be free of charge. He needs general dentists, specialists, hygienists, and clinical assistants to volunteer.

You may sign up by emailing the Crown Council at [email protected]. Please send a check today and sign up to help the children. Helping someone directly affected by this tragedy will enhance their life and enrich your life.

When you receive this, Christmas or Hanuka cannot be far away. It's a time to enjoy family and friends, as well as to thank God for all of His wondrous gifts. As I travel back and forth across the country, I have met many dentists who continually make me appreciate what a great profession it is that we all belong to. You give me the confidence and the enthusiasm to continue to try to serve you in the best way that I can. Take pride in what you do, constantly improving the oral health of this great country of ours. This is a great time to be a dentist!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, and may God bless America!

Joe Blaes
DDS, Editor
E-mail:[email protected]

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