COMOM Volunteers – Happy with a Handshake

Molly Pereira Featured News

Sept. 22, 2009

The first Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) patient arrived in line at 4:45 p.m., the night before the clinic opened. The second patient arrived shortly thereafter at 5:30 p.m. Despite a long night ahead of them, camping out in line, they were filled with good spirits and hope. Finally, after all these years, they’d be getting the dental care they desperately needed, and the pain would stop.

While COMOM was in Brighton, Colo. this year, the news of the annual charity clinic was known around the state. Thanks to well over 750 volunteers, hundreds of patients are resting easier and smiling with confidence – something that many of them hadn’t done in years and even decades before Sept. 11 and 12, 2009.

“They offer this, you come here, you stand in line, and they don’t ask for nothing,” said David, the second patient Ed at COMOMin line. “You shake their hand and it makes them happy. I’m just extremely pleased and happy beyond words for what they’re doing for me.”

Early estimates indicate that nearly 1,300 patients were treated at the 2009 COMOM. These patients underwent over 6,000 procedures amounting to over $973,000 in donated dental care.

Happy and healthy patients weren’t the only markers of success for the weekend. COMOM also drew personal visits from five legislators and one legislative staff member – and moved one local representative to tears. The weekend also achieved rampant media coverage from every major metro television station, the Denver Post, six radio stations and local publications. Thanks to a Pulitzer Prize winning photo journalist from Getty Images and a photo journalist from Bloomberg, news of COMOM also appeared in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal online.

Final numbers, additional photographs and a full report will be published in the coming months.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered for, donated to and supported COMOM 2009. Your time, talent and dedication to this cause truly made a difference.