A message from the President and Board of the
William J. Spence ICD Memorial Foundation
The W. J. Spence ICD Memorial Foundation in 2020 and beyond.
It may be difficult to predict to what extent the Spence Foundation will be able to adjust in this time of a COVID-19 Pandemic and resulting restrictions on foreign travel to countries or regions with populations that have humanitarian dental needs. But on behalf of the Foundation Board of volunteer Fellows, may I reassure our Canadian ICD Fellows that we shall keep the spirit and original intent of the Spence Foundation alive and functioning. Monies that have been donated to the Foundation will eventually be granted in a careful, timely manner.
In the past, the Spence Foundation has focused on helping humanitarian dental missions at home or abroad by covering all, or in part the financial budget of these humanitarian dental missions with dental supplies and materials. The Foundation has awarded grants to missions into impoverished areas of South America, Indonesia and Africa to mention a few places. However, it has had requests from local humanitarian dental clinics in Canada, which are just as meritorious. All of these charity clinics are staffed by volunteer dentists and assistants, many of whom are Active or Life Fellows of ICD. It seems that until the “New Normal” conditions return, this latter area of charity may be a focus of the Foundation.
When the World Pandemic was announced in March of 2020, three of the humanitarian missions; two to Africa, and one to South America had to be curtailed, and eventually cancelled. The monies were returned to the Foundation reserves. Only one mission to Guatemala by Health Action of Toronto was completed, just under the wire in February of 2020.
Looking into the future, that same Registered Charities group has been awarded a similar grant for a proposed humanitarian dental mission to the same Rio Dulce area in November of 2021, depending on conditions at that time. Closer to home, another two charity clinics submitted applications and the Foundation board was pleased to awarded grants in Ottawa and London, Ontario.
The clinic in London, ON is guided by Fellow Ken Wright and has budgeted for more PPE supplies. In Ottawa, Fellow Tom Harle has requested dental equipment to furnish a clinic for unwed mothers and children at St. Mary’s Home dental clinic.
The Foundation Board appreciates the confidence and generosity, which our Canadian ICD Fellows have in our mission by continuing to donate through the web-site.
William H. (Bill) Christie, Life Fellow,
President of “The Spence Foundation”.