Nora Kohlert knows how big Dr. John Mason’s heart is.
Kohlert is the office manager at Mason, Faith and Hoscheit dental practice in St. Charles. Mason is the senior dentist at the practice.
The St. Charles resident volunteers at the Tri City Health Partnership’s free medical and dental clinic in St Charles, providing free dental care to those who need it. He also has given his time to many other organizations.
As Mason was volunteering at the clinic on Friday, his staff at Mason, Faith and Hoscheit dental practice surprised him with a bench in honor of Mason being awarded the William D. Barth award last fall.
The bench will stay on the front porch of the clinic. The William D. Barth award was established in 1985 and recognizes one individual each year who has made a significant and positive impact, through community service, on the central Kane County area.
“He is always giving back to the community,” Kohlert said. ‘We thought we would put a bench here on the front porch so every time he comes here, he is reminded of the award he won and because they always need extra seating here. He has been such a big part of the community and he always gives back. He has a big heart.”
Sponsored by TriCity Family Services, the William D. Barth Award honors the memory of William D. Barth, a founder of TriCity Family Services and a dedicated community leader. Tri City Health Partnership’s clinic marks its 20th anniversary this year.
“He was instrumental in establishing dental services at the clinic,” said Kim Lamansky, executive director of Tri City Health Partnership, who nominated Mason for the award.
Mason is honored to volunteer his time at the clinic.
“The stories of the people who come through here are just inspiring,” he said. “There’s lots of people here who are in pretty dire need of dental work.”
Because of the pandemic, the William D. Barth award was presented to Mason in October as part of a virtual ceremony. He personally knows some of the past recipients of the award.
“So it was pretty special to be in that group,” Mason said.
Dr. Sarah Kimber, a volunteer physician at the clinic since its founding, won the award in 2011. The clinic has seen a dramatic increase in patient demand because of the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had 23% more visits in 2020 than the year before,” Lamansky said. “We gave over a $1 million in free services last year. Because a lot of people are out of work, I think we’re going to continue to see a need.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle