For Dr. Bruce E. Carter, the fundraising campaign Brighter Smiles for Brighter Futures started in 2001 with a desire to help raise money for the fight against cancer.
Dr. Carter provided cosmetic bleaching to patients who donated $200 to the Gwinnett County, Ga., Relay for Life and ended up raising more than $28,000 for the American Cancer Society.
During the second year of the organization, Dr. Carter began recruiting other volunteer dentists. In the years since, more than 65 volunteer dentists have raised over one million dollars for cancer with the motto: "Dentists Curing Cancer One Smile at a Time." Since 2004, Brighter Smiles for Brighter Futures has donated its funds to the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation’s Time Matters in the Fight Against Breast Cancer Campaign to benefit affected individuals on a more local level.
"I decided to focus the fundraising efforts on breast cancer after several friends and patients of mine were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002," said Dr. Carter. "I lost two of those friends last year to the disease. Since 2004, the funds we’ve raised have gone towards improving breast cancer diagnosis in our region through the purchase and upgrade of digital mammography equipment. This has reduced the wait for a routine mammogram from months to days and the hope is to reduce the wait further and to improve the quality and speed of the diagnostics."