Dental assistants Britney Green and Alanna Bird didn’t know what they were getting themselves into when their boss Dr. Rob Strain asked them to go hiking.
“At first, he didn’t explain too much,” said Bird. “He was just like, ‘Hey, do you guys want to go on a hike?’ Um…sure.”
Green added: “He just said it was going to be a fun trip to Oregon since we could spend the weekend in Oregon.”
It turns out “fun” meant hiking a mountain named North Ridge of the Middle Sister near Bend, Oregon, on Sept. 4. It stands more than 10,000 feet tall. It will take them at least ten hours to climb up and back down again.
“I just look at it as a team building thing to have them along,” said Dr. Strain, of Studio Dentistry. “They’re young so I think it’s going to really build a lot of confidence in them.”
But, he says, they’re really climbing for a good cause: raising money for dental clinics overseas known as “Smile Tree” clinics. These clinics are located in poorer countries.
“It would be very unusual to find a young person who owns a toothbrush in these countries,” he said.
The trio will be bringing hiking poles, layered clothing and energy bars with them on their trip. They start their hike at 4:00 a.m. when the temperature is 40-degrees. When they reach the top, it will be 50-degrees only. Dr. Strain says a snowstorm could occur.
The group is taking this hike seriously. They’ve been training since June, they say. Last week they climbed Mt. San Jacinto for practice.
Their Oregon climb is scheduled during Labor Day weekend. They’ll definitely be working hard. But, for every step they take up that mountain, they’re making smiles around the world.
They will be holding a fundraiser next Thursday, August 26, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The $20 suggested donation includes dinner, entertainment and five raffle tickets. If you wear hiking shoes or hiking apparel, you receive five more raffle tickets for free.The fundraiser will be held at Studio Dentistry, 71-703 Hwy 111, Suite 2B, in Rancho Mirage. For more information, call (760) 568-9494.