Over 46,000 meals have been given to children in need thanks to Dr. Tracy Murray, DDS and his staff. On Thursday, Murray presented a check for nearly $6,000 to Mark and Virgie Hunter of the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, bringing the total from his practice to the fund to $34, 761.
“This is our favorite charity,” Murray said. “When this became available, this was the first person we thought of – Mark and Steven. We just really enjoy doing this. Everybody on the team is pretty much on board with it. They do all the work.”
Chasity Messer, office manager, is a proud member of that team.
“There’s many needy children in the community, and every year it (Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund) provides thousands of meals that are sent home for kids in our community at pretty much every school in our district,” Messer said. “This year a lot of schools have gone up from just the fourth grade up to the seventh and eighth grades. Mark told me this year they’re going to add blankets in to the power packs.
Statistics provided by Feeding America show almost one in three children in Scioto, Pike and Adams counties are considered food insecure. To help combat the issue, the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund has begun Steven’s Power Pack Club. Each child on the program receives approximately four pounds of nutritious, shelf-stable, easy to prepare food every Friday before they go home for the weekend.
”It (Murray’s donation) means everything,” Mark Hunter said. “The Murray’s have embraced what we were doing early on, and, of course the whole community has helped so much.”
The money comes from the practice’s teeth whitening service.
“We do the Zoom-Whitening here in the office which is a one day procedure. Normally it’s $495. We discount it down to $295 and we also have the custom-made whitening trays that are normally $295 and we discount it down to $99, so more people can afford it to get more money out there, and Dr. Murray supplies all the supplies to do that,” Messer said. “Everything we bring in, he donates and then Dr. Murray makes a donation himself that adds on to what we raise that year.”
Mark Hunter said every cent is necessary to take care of all the needs.
“We were just at a school yesterday and we couldn’t believe, several of them really looked malnourished and very small for their age,” Mark Hunter said. “We just know that they need the Power Packs.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.