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NuCraft Dental Arts in Bogart, GA, has a long history of charitable works, such as making donations to a different charity each month on behalf of its top 10 clients and sponsoring a lecture and golf tournament to raise money for the American Liver Foundation. But as CEO Terry Fohey, CDT, admits, it didn't begin as an entirely altruistic endeavor: "Our charitable efforts and business efforts were interwoven and I knew having a charitable event at the laboratory also gave us a good business opportunity. But as I've matured as a business owner and learned from and been inspired by others in my life, I've come to realize that an important part of being successful is having a positive influence on your local community."
While Fohey and his staff are involved in a range of local fundraisers and organizations, the lab's primary charitable focus is on helping area military personnel and their families. This is something Fohey feels especially passionate about since his father was a pilot in World War II and he feels a tremendous debt of gratitude toward those who fight for our country.
It started in 2007 when NuCraft held a fundraiser for the widow and newborn baby of a local Marine killed in Iraq. Thirty-five staff members volunteered to hold a pork barbeque on a Sunday after church and within hours, raised $35,000 selling sandwiches and collecting generous donations.
Recently, the lab helped with another barbeque fundraiser to remodel the home of and provide furniture for a Marine who had just returned from Afghanistan. He lost both his legs and the house had to be renovated to be wheelchair accessible. "When the Marine and his father stopped by the lab to say, 'thank you,' it was a really great feeling. You don't get that kind of personal satisfaction when you just send a check," says Fohey.
In addition, the lab donates to numerous charities that support military service personnel, including the Wounded Warrior Project, Remember the One Celebrity Golf Classic and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Also in the works: helping to provide housing for a local Marine who is currently recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "These young men and women are fighting for our country and we owe it to them to make sure they are getting the help they need," says Fohey.
Editor's Note: If you have a Technician on a Mission story you'd like to share, please contact Kelly Carr at Kelly@LMTmag.com or 203-459-2888.
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