Dr. Gerry Dental Center
Please take a moment to read about our Clinic and consider donating to help us help those in need.
100% of your donation goes to support our Clinic.
Raising US$3,000 will fund 1 Dominican dentist to work for 1 year at our Free Dental Clinic on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.
Charity dollars here on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic come primarily from the ex-pat’s that have made this Country their home, but there are so many underprivileged people in need that it is increasingly difficult to raise funds here. We are now turning to our home Countries for help.
You can donate to our Clinic making checks payable to HADAC.Org and mail to 12 Portside dr Ft Lauderdale Fl 33316*
If you would like to donate Dental Supplies to our Clinic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to email you a list of our current needs and a USA mailing address to which these supplies can be sent.
*HADAC – Haitian and Dominican Assistance Corporation, a 501c3 non-profit corporation founded by Charles and Candy Ritzen.
Nestled about 9 kilometers up a lonely jungle road between Sosua and Cabarete on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic is a tourist attraction whose sole purpose is to fund a Free on-site Dental and Medical Clinic (complete with Pharmacy) for the underprivileged. The Monkey Jungle and Zip Line Adventure was founded by Chuck and Candy Ritzen after the Leon-Laroche Clinics at Monkey Jungle started in mid-2009 with visiting Nashville pediatric dentist, Dr. David Snodgrass, pulling teeth in the rear of a Dodge pickup truck. By the end of 2009 we finished our small Dental and Medical clinics. Then Chuck Ritzen met Dr. Gerry, a retired orthodontist from Canada, and his wife, Sandi, and with their skill the clinic blossomed.
By the end of 2009 it was apparent that we needed a commercial attraction to expand, maintain and perpetuate these free clinics. The idea to open a zip line and jungle where monkeys could enjoy a habitat similar to their native land was born.
Today, Monkey Jungle has been visited by over 50,000 guests. The free clinics at Monkey Jungle have treated over 21,000 Dental and Medical patients and have been blessed to have had 39 health care teams volunteer from 3 to 6 days each. In early 2013 Monkey Jungle Dental Clinic was expanded by 500 square feet to include two more operatories. Live Different, a wonderful Canadian youth organization contributed US$4,000 to the US$20,000 expansion and spent a week doing manual labor and the beautiful murals in the clinic
The Dental Clinic is staffed by retiree Volunteers who tirelessly work each Saturday in high heat and humidity to improve the lives of the people we have come to call our neighbors. We provide patient transport from the main highway to the Clinic every Saturday for our patients. In addition, we are assisted by our Dominican Dentists: Giancarlo Brache Ginebra who travels from Santo Domingo regularly, volunteering his time and his invaluable insights; and, Clarydania Bonilla, who travels every week from Santiago to work with our patients. A number of our regular patients have Cerebral Palsy and our Volunteer Dental Hygienist will spend hours quietly singing to a patient while cleaning each tooth individually. Watching her work with these patients is one of the many joys our volunteers experience while working in the Clinic.
It is with sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Gerry, and with joy that we celebrate his life. Those who knew him well referred to him as Mr. Fix-It, or The G man. Gerry’s skills at fixing, repairing, building and improvising were legendary.
After his retirement, Gerry traded his snow boots for sandals and soon found an outlet for his many talents, including directing and helping set up the Monkey Jungle Dental Clinic. It was here that Gerry was the happiest offering free dental care for those who could least afford it. He worked tirelessly and joyfully at what he loved with basic equipment in a remote environment. Gerry was an inspiration to those he worked with and a Gift to the many he helped.
Our beloved Dr. Gerry passed away on February 22, 2014. He left behind him a wonderful Team of volunteers who were trained by him and his wife, Sandi, and who continue to work tirelessly to care for his patients and carry on the work he loved.