Every year, a motorcycle gang rides through the serene mountains of southern Utah. However, it’s not your typical pack of motorcyclists. It’s a group of dentists from all over the world, riding to raise money.
Steven Anderson is the co-founder of Smiles for Life, a charity that’s raised nearly $50 million, thanks to motorcycle rides like this one in Utah.
“All the proceeds from this ride go to fund a dental humanitarian initiative that we do in several third-world countries,” Anderson says.
These fundraisers help families and children across the globe who have little to no access to dental care.
“We’ve trained people from around the world to do dentistry that haven’t been to dental school, and they now have a way to earn a living for their families,” says Roy Hammond, who has been a dentist for more than 30 years.
Hammond started Miles for Life almost 20 years ago.
“It changed my life, my outlook, on the world that we live in and the hardships of the people and lack of access to the comforts of life we have,” Hammond says.
Dentist Ron Massie came from Missouri to ride with the other dentists and their families. He says he rides to get the word out about the lack of dental care around the world.
Just like the perspective they get from riding on the open road, the motorcyclists learned there is more to life than what money can buy. They all agree that happiness doesn’t come from stuff.
“It’s about giving back, and that’s so true of life, Massie says. “It’s the quality of the people and the fact that everybody is willing to give more than they get.”