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As a dental hygienist, Ann Nowak, of Mundelein, Illinois, knows how important good dental care is for children. When she receives the Pay It Forward Challenge, she decides that a local clinic is the perfect recipient for the money.

Dr. Lee Bomgaars is retiring soon, but he wants to continue treating the many needy children who come into his clinic. Dental equipment is very expensive, and Dr. Bomgaars is having trouble outfitting his facility with many of the things he needs to treat his patients. Ann puts the word out to friends and other dental offices, and the donations start pouring in!

Items donated by other dentists include sterilizing equipment and an X-ray machine, as well as simple office necessities like gloves, masks, bibs and gauze. Ann's friends and colleagues chip in another $1500. The money will go toward the cost of plumbing a water source into the clinic's treatment room.

Ann is gratified and a little relieved that she was able to pull this off. "I am so taken by how, when presented with a need, people come together," she says.


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