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Cape Cod Community College Receives $1.25M Gift

The challenge gift is for a dental hygiene clinic renovation project.

It is the largest single gift in Cape Cod Community College’s history.

What's more it is immediately matched with $250,000 gift from Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, moving fundraising campaign past the 50% mark in just one day.

This gift will transform the education and training of Dental Hygienists and make a major impact on the oral health of the greater community. 

At a press conference today College President Kathleen Schatzberg announced local philanthropist and long-time supporter of Cape Cod Community College, Mrs. Maureen Wilkens, pledged $1.25M to support the renovation of the College’s Dental Hygiene clinic and classrooms.

The $1.25M gift represents half of the funds necessary to complete the $2.5M renovation. During the event attended by Cape Cod Community College (CCCC) leadership along with faculty, staff and students of the CCCC Dental Hygiene program, President Schatzberg explained that Mrs. Wilkens will serve as Honorary Co-Chair of the campaign, and presented the gift as a challenge match to the Community. 

“This gift moves the campaign into its public phase. The challenge match serves as an appeal to community leaders to help us reach the $2.5M goal,” said Liz Lewis, chair of the CCCC Educational Foundation Board of Directors. 

Mrs. Wilkens is especially interested in garnering the support of the Cape Cod dental community.  Both Robert Faiella, a dentist in Osterville and President-Elect of the American Dental Association, and Neil Ringler, a West Barnstable dentist and long-time advocate for the College will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs alongside Mrs. Wilkens to encourage their dental colleague’s involvement. 

Also at Wednesday’s press conference, Dorothy Savarese, College Trustee, President and CEO of the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank announced the first response to the match challenge of $250,000. With the gift, Cape Cod Five will have exclusive naming rights to the Dental Hygiene Program’s Children’s Community Outreach.  Through this program, second- year students travel to area preschools and childcare programs to provide tooth-care education, cleanings, sealants and dental screenings.  Mrs. Wilkens’ gift continues a history of generosity to the College that she and her late husband Frank began over a decade ago. 

The Wilkens’ have been extraordinary benefactors to Cape Cod Community College and the Cape Cod community. Frank was a self-made man who knew the value of hard work and education.  Together, the Wilkens’ philanthropic mission has been to support job training and education, to help people reach their full potential, and to better support themselves and their families. “Frank and Maureen’s gifts have enabled many to have a chance at life, a career, a fresh start, and an education,” said President Schatzberg. She added, “ten annual scholarships awarded to CCCC students who are single parents bear their name, as does our college library…They have had an enormous impact on the lives of our students, our College and our community and we are so deeply grateful to Maureen for her continued generosity.”

The Program

The Dental Hygiene Program at Cape Cod Community College is highly competitive and fully accredited by the American Dental Association. It is the only Dental Hygiene training program within a 50 mile radius. 

It attracts both recent high school graduates, and nontraditional students who are raising children, working full-time, or juggling multiple part-time jobs. Dental Hygiene is a career that offers well-compensated employment with flexible hours, while delivering an important social benefit. 

The Dental Hygiene clinic at the College provides students with valuable hands-on experience and helps to meet the dental care needs of the uninsured and underinsured population on Cape Cod, providing an average of 1,800 appointments per year to area residents. 

Approximately 80% of the patients are from low-income backgrounds. The students in the program do most of their clinical training at CCCC’s Dental Hygiene clinic which was created in 1975. 

Since that time, dental hygiene procedures and services have changed markedly.  Renovations are critical to ensure the highest possible level of care and training, improving student preparation, and in doing so increasing the community’s level of oral health. 

Information from a press release.

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