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Thorndale Dental Associates' Dr. Richard E. DeForno. (Photo by Jared Castaldi)April 24 could easily pass as just another Saturday spent shopping, cleaning or sleeping in. But Dr. Richard E. DeForno plans to make it a day to remember. Inspired by the national nonprofit program Dentistry from the Heart, his Thorndale Dental Associates will offer 100 people cleanings, fillings and pullings—all free of charge.

And the giving doesn’t end there. Brandywine Hospital will donate on-site health screenings, and a few area dentists and school nurses are expected to participate also. The adjacent Citadel Credit Union will provide food for the patients, Giant is covering breakfast for volunteers, and disposable items like gauze will come from dental supply distributors. Charitable groups referring interested clients to the practice include Catholic Social Services, the Lord’s Pantry of Downingtown and Bridge of Hope in Coatesville.

“Volunteerism is a neat thing,” says DeForno. “It’s really amazing how willing people are to give when you reach out into the community.”

Thorndale Dental has taken part in community service for more than 20 years. It’s held “Make a Difference Day” for seven of them, donating $256,000 worth of services. “I have more success than I could ever dream about in terms of the dentistry I’m able to do,” says DeForno. “It makes you feel good to give back—especially to a community that’s been so good to me. It does something for the heart and the soul that other things don’t.”

The extra reward? “After we work really hard, I treat everybody at the local restaurant or bar, and we celebrate,” says DeForno.

Visit dentistryfromtheheart.org and thorndaledental.com.