— By BRIAN SMITH
At open houses, it’s the honoree that normally receives the gifts. At such an event Wednesday, it was the guests.
Dr. Fred Potter, owner of Bowie Drive Dental Care, hosted an open house for his 30th year of dentistry. In honor of the event, Potter sponsored a contest for an extreme mouth makeover valued at $15,000. Videos were posted on YouTube telling why a family was worthy of the prize.
The contest took place over a month’s time, Potter saying entries came in very slow at first but began to pick up as the deadline approached.
Potter, a Weatherford High graduate, looked at about 20 videos and narrowed those down to six finalists, each with an intriguing story that Potter told.
After a lot of consideration and weighing the stories behind the six finalists, Potter awarded the free makeover to Sarah Buller, a single mother with three kids fighting stage 3 breast cancer who simply wants to be a role model for her kids.
Buller said she was overwhelmed by the gesture.
“I’m speechless,” said an emotional Buller. “This is the icing on the cake I was hoping for.”
A Weatherford resident, Buller said she will undergo her final round of chemotherapy in July and begin the reconstruction process in August.
None of the finalists went home empty handed, however, as Potter gave all the finalists $1,000 worth of dental care to “make their lives better in a small way.” Potter’s wife, Beth, said it was “hard to admit when you need help” and said entering took “a lot of courage.”
The other finalists were:
• Suzie Miller who was recently involved in an accident that killed her sister. She also has a daughter with a medical condition that keeps her busy.
• The Barrett family, entered by their daughter.
• The Burleson family, with three boys, are suffering from tough economic times like many people and things like dentistry go on the back burner.
• Caleb Pettibon, 13. Caleb suffers from both multiple sclerosis and scoliosis. In need of braces, Caleb recently found out he will need another scoliosis-related surgery.
• Denver Russell is a Vietnam veteran who found out what tough is as soon as he got to Vietnam. Potter described Russell grabbing his rifle and being fired upon while diving into a trench as his first taste of action literally seconds upon arrival.