Submitted by Delta Dental of Washington.
Last week, the Delta Dental of Washington Smile Power team came to town bringing surprise and delight moments and offering free smiles to those they met. During the ‘Smile Power’ tour, Delta Dental honored Smile Makers, community members and local organizations who bring smiles to others through their actions and words. Of those nominated and selected for the program are Tacoma’s Ray Jensen and Rachel Depoule-Voss and Lakewood’s Wendy Huber.
Ray Jensen, owner of People’s Barbershop, was nominated for his commitment to growing a child-centered community in the area. Although his livelihood is a barber, his nominator and friend Tiffany Y’vonne noted, “…his true impact is community parenting. People’s Barbershop is ‘that’ home for many youth, specifically young men… Ray and his shop embody the village rooted in culture, and modeling positive manhood in the Hilltop of Tacoma.” He was surprised alongside friends and colleagues with tickets to a local sporting event and a donation of dental kits, books and schools supplies toward his annual Rock the Rim back-to-school program.
Rachel Depoule-Voss was nominated as a Smile Maker by her surrogate daughter for being a mother figure to so many in the community. Depoule-Voss, a former children’s hospice nurse of 12 years, runs Stepping Stones Housing, an organization supporting recovering drug-addicts and ex-felons, helping them to find housing and get back on their feet. She runs this organization almost entirely out of her own pocket. Depoule-Voss was surprised with a donation of hygiene products to support her work with the organization as well as a personal gift of fishing supplies for her favorite hobby.
Wendy Huber, Box Office Manager at the Lakewood Playhouse, was nominated as a Smile Maker by a coworker and friend who noted that Huber goes above and beyond to support others, never asking for anything in return. During the day, Huber is a Special Education Teaching Assistant at a local elementary school and on the evenings and weekends, she puts extra time in a the Playhouse to fix props and costumes, host the youth theater and schedule any and all fundraising events. To say ‘thank you,’ the Smile Power team surprised Huber in front of a full audience during the opening curtain announcements of Lakewood Playhouse’s performance of Brighton Beach Memoirs. She was gifted with a night out on the town, including tickets to a play and a gift card for a nice dinner, as well as a donation to the Playhouse to help Huber upgrade the office computer to continue the great work she does.
Overall, the week was full of many smiles for those touched by the program! If you know someone that sounds like a Smile Maker, you can nominate them at, www.DeltaDentalWA.com/Smile and the program may come back to surprise them next year!