Dr. Sean Holliday

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - July 15, 2009
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While most of us slept in as long as we could July 5, a team of 170 dentists and their families, all in matching T-shirts for the occasion, were scouring the shoreline and grassy fields of Ala Moana Beach Park for the fifth annual Honolulu County Dental Society Beach Clean Up.

“A lot of people had to struggle to wake up early, but it’s the major community event of the year for us,” says HCDS president Dr. Sean Holliday. “Most of the dentists here are involved with some kind of community service here or do something where they travel to help people in other countries. But the cleanup, it’s not something having to do with teeth, you know, but it’s still something to give back to the community.”

According to Holliday, the good docs traditionally designate one Sunday every year to cleanse Sandy Beach in East Oahu. But seeing as the Fourth of July - and the tons of rubbish from firecrackers and campouts that come with it - fell on a Saturday this year, HCDS members decided their muscle-power would be better spent at the traditional summer holiday hotspot.

“We wanted to pick a good location that was accessible but also that needed cleaning up,” Holliday explains.

An orthodontist with his own practice in Aiea, Kailua and Honolulu, Holliday came to Hawaii after attending dental school at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His wife and fellow dentist Celeste were joined at the cleanup by daughters Sarah, 4, and Sophie, 2.

In fact, the Costa Rica native says the reason for the cleanup stems from a desire to bridge family time with social service.

“Most dentist feel that if they get their family involved, especially on the weekend, it’s a special value to them because they’re getting everyone in their own family involved with helping the community. That’s one of the reasons why it’s one of our most-popular events during the year.”

This event seemed the most-successful as well - the grand tally for the day came in at 50 stuffed trashbags, five times more than the usual Sandy Beach haul.

Not bad for a Sunday’s work.

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