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Dentist surprises Marines

March 30, 2011
Dr. Eric Kerbs, DDS, from Phoenix, Ariz., collected money during the holidays for the Toys for Tots program and wants to give a check for $5,000 to the Marines.
PHOENIX, Ariz.--It's not unusual for a business owner to support a charity, especially during the holidays. What is unusual is for a business owner to provide that support "silently" and without fanfare.To read more about donations, go to donations.Dr. Eric Kerbs, DDS, surprised the Marine Corps and the Toys for Tots program. He had collected money during the holidays for the program and now wants to give a check for $5,000 to the Marines. He didn't know who to call so he asked a friend and Marine if he would help. The Toys for Tots foundation sent Lance Corporal Michael Deem to accept the check. Lance Corporal Deem said, "Not being contacted beforehand is very unusual. In my almost five years in the Marine Corps doing a lot of Toys for Tots events and a lot of community events this has never happened before. We're usually contacted in October so we can provide support. This is huge. This last season we didn't have that big of a turnout, given the economy and all. So this $5,000 we're getting today is absolutely huge and will help a lot of kids."Dr. Eric Kerbs owns eight dental practices in Phoenix East Valley, Ariz. He and his team decided to "put some smiles on kids faces" for the holidays. Dr. Kerbs says that usually what he means is making kids smiles nicer-looking and more healthy. This holiday season they wanted to literally make kids smile.He and the team decided to support the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Dr. Kerbs' idea was to provide new patients with a general cleaning, X-rays and exam by a dentist at $25. The practice would donate $5 of that fee to the Marine Foundation's Toys for Tots program. Dr. Kerbs didn't tell the Marine Corps or the Toys for Tots program. He didn't ask for news coverage or any promotion. His practices advertised the "reduced fee" and when new patients came in they told them what they were doing. One Google News Channel found about this and did a news story. One patient said he'd seen the news story and was coming to the practice because he's a former Army soldier. "When I saw what Dr. Kerbs was doing that made me want to come in and support Toys for Tots," the patient said.On March 2, 2011, Dr. Kerbs handed a check for $5,000 to Lance Corporal Deem, who is headed to Afghanistan for combat duty.For more information, go to comment on this subject, go to