On Oct. 30, professionals from Hawaii’s dental industry will gather in Suite 340 of the Pauahi Tower in downtown Honolulu for the second annual Hawaii Future Dentists Symposium. There, the dentists will discuss the joys and challenges faced in their chosen specialty fields to an audience of high school juniors and seniors.
The free event is held to give local students interested in dentistry a better understanding of the field and encourage them to follow their aspirations.
Helping make those dreams a reality is Craig Holbrook, Hawaii regional manager of Patterson Dental, one of the largest health-care distribution companies in North America. His $1,000 donation earlier this year allowed for the first-time creation of a scholarship fund for three young attendees.
“We are truly grateful to Craig and the entire Patterson Dental team for their generosity in providing three well-deserving students scholarships as they pursue their educational goals,” says Dr. Cecile Sebastian, co-sponsor of the symposium.
Students are invited to write a 200-word essay explaining why they would like to be a dentist. Winners will be announced at the event, with scholarships of $500, $300 and $200 being awarded to first-, second- and third-place, respectively.
“Dentists change people’s lives - from the way a person smiles to the way they eat, dentists really do change people’s lives for the better,” states Holbrook, 41. The Manoa resident personally has made an impact on others. He regularly volunteers with the annual “Give Kids A Smile” day at Leeward schools, Meals On Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hawaii, the Daniel Sayre Foundation, American Heart Association, Hawaii Dental Association’s Dental Samaritans and Ahahui Koa Anuenue, the official fundraising organization for UH athletics.
In addition, he is on the board of the National Association of Dentistry for the Handicapped, to which he made a $100,000 donation through Patterson Dental on behalf of Hawaii Dentist through Denta-Cheques.
“I feel that if you’re doing well, you also need to do good,” Holbrook says. “The dental industry in Hawaii has trusted me for years with their dental supplies, and we want to be a good business steward as well.”
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