This week, staff writer Clare Collins talks with Jason J. Hanyon , D.M.D., about the upcoming Dunk the Dentist event, which will benefit Bella Rebar , a 13-year-old who suffered serious injuries from a recent ATV crash.
Title: Event co-planner
Q: Tell us about Bella, whose family will benefit from this event.
A: On May 18, Bella Rebar, 13, was in a horrible ATV accident in which her vehicle flipped and pinned her head, and she was taken to Geisinger Community Medical Center. The initial injury was a skull fracture compressing her brain stem and cerebellum with inter subarachnoid bleeding. They were worried about brain stem herniation, so she was life-flighted to Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville. Additionally, she had a pulmonary contusion and corneal abrasion, and after Janet Weis, she went to a rehabilitation center in Allentown. She had vision issues, including double vision and blurriness, as well as gait and balance issues. She needs to relearn to walk and talk and needs aggressive physical, occupational and speech therapies. Her cognitive issues could take over a year for her to recover, and she is now at home and has a very long, costly recovery ahead of her.
Q: Tell us about how the event works.
A: The event is free and open to the public. At the event, participants will get the opportunity to “dunk the dentist” with a donation, and everyone who succeeds will get a chance to enter a drawing for a smile makeover. The event was originally scheduled to promote our offices, but once we found out about Bella and the accident, we decided to give the proceeds to her and her family.
Q: What else will be on hand at this event?
A: There will be other raffles throughout the day, including a basket raffle, and T-shirts available for purchase. Refreshments and food trucks also will be on hand for guests.
Q: Why is community support for this cause so important?
A: Any time a tragedy happens, the amount of time, effort and money it takes to get your life back to normal can be daunting. I’m sure to any family it’s comforting to know they are not alone. Our community is the best when it comes to rallying together to help a child. Bella and her family are such strong members of the community. They’re those type of people that are the first ones to get to the Little League and the last ones to leave. They are always there for the community and willing to help, so we want to repay them, especially in this time of need.
If you go
What: Dunk the Dentist to benefit Bella Rebar
When: Friday, July 19, noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Century Dental Associates, 696 Scranton-Carbondale Highway, Eynon
Details: Admission is free, and the cost to throw three balls to “dunk the dentist” is $5. For more information, visit centurydentalsmiles.com.
Patrice Wilding is a 13-year employee of the Lifestyles Dept. at The Times-Tribune, where she worked her way up from a clerk to a web video producer to a full-time reporter, writer and copy editor. An Olyphant native, she graduated from Mid Valley Secondary Center and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with concentration in media arts, political science and communications from Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Justin, and their son, Johnny. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT