There is a fund at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation called Restore a Smile, which was established in 2015 in memory of Susan Starr Gerling, who was a local dental hygienist in the Grand Rapids area.  Susan was passionate about helping others feel confident with their smiles.  In the last years of her life she helped a friend of her family who was struggling with many dental problems.  With Susan’s help, he was able to work with her employer and come up with a plan to help him with his dental issues.  He gained much in self-confidence and was so grateful to Susan for helping with this transformation, and she was happy to see him happy.  Susan’s friends and family then established the Restore a Smile Fund in her honor and to pay it forward.

In the years since 2015, the Restore a Smile Fund has given 46 grants to area residents to help with a variety of dental procedures that would have been out of reach for those individuals.  Anesthesia for oral dental surgery is expensive and payment for it is usually required prior to treatment.  These surgeries and treatments prevent further dental and health issues, prevent pain, as well as fix smiles.

This fund at the Community Foundation could use your help! A donation to this fund goes directly to helping Greater Itasca Area residents and your support could make it possible to end dental pain or restore a healthy smile.  If you would like to support the Restore a Smile Fund, you can donate online at and search for Restore a Smile Fund. You can also send or drop off donations to the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, 350 NW 1st Avenue, Suite E, Grand Rapids, Minnesota.