Caption: Benco Dental’s “Team Metro” contributed to the May 10 Greater New Jersey – Parsippany Chapter of the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk with fundraising efforts and participation. Shown, first row, from left, are: Susan Hilko, Brooke Gardner, Aden Gardner, Griffin Gardner, David Gardner. Second row: Karen Hilko, Shauna Colicchio, Vincent Colicchio holding Hunter, Todd Denton, Jose Gomez, Derek Dreyer.
A workplace family united toward community good. Benco Dental exemplifies that phrase as a corporate entity, donating $860,000 to charitable causes in 2013 through its Benco Family Foundation. The largest privately owned dental company in the United States also subscribes to that philosophy on a regional level, with associates logging more than 1,100 hours to community service projects in the past year, and its “Team Metro” as a case in point. Encompassing the geographic areas of northern and central New Jersey, the Metro division includes 23 Benco Dental associates – both sales and service personnel.
Recently, the company’s Metro associates took steps to support their neighbors after finding inspiration within their ranks: Regional Sales Manager David Gardner and Territory Representative Shauna Colicchio.
Each spring, Gardner and his family take part in the Greater New Jersey – Parsippany Chapter of the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk to show support for his niece, Olivia Jones, 7. This year, Benco Dental’s “Team Metro” decided to contribute to the May 10 event with their fundraising efforts and participation.
“We walked two miles on a beautiful sunny day around Horseshoe Lake in Roxbury, NJ and enjoyed a light lunch at the event afterward. It was great to see and meet everyone’s family,” said Karen Hilko, Administrative Assistant for the Metro Sales Region at Benco Dental.
“I do it for her,” Gardner said of his niece, Olivia, “ and to help all the others who can’t help themselves, who need our support to find a cure.”
He explained some of the reasons he and Team Metro make efforts to play a role in their community support system.
“There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with cystic fibrosis who struggle every day just to breathe. Real progress has been made in the search for a cure, but the lives of people with cystic fibrosis are still cut short.”
“Team Metro” did not stop there. Benco Dental associates are registered to participate and donate in the 1st Annual Ellie’s Run for Independence Run/Walk on July 13 in Succasunna, NJ. The 5K event, scheduled for July 13 around Horseshoe Lake, Roxbury Township, will support The Ellie Reynolds ALS Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in memory of Colicchio’s grandmother. Its mission: to provide people living with ALS and their caregivers with the day-to-day comforts they need to achieve a high quality of life at little or no cost to them. The foundation raises funds and work with construction companies to provide home improvement services such as adapting bathrooms, installing wheelchair ramps, and expanding doorways that are needed by those diagnosed with ALS.
“My maternal grandmother, Ellie, was 74 when she passed in 2006, after living with ALS for just seven months. She was the matriarch of the family and it was devastating. She loved life. The foundation is extremely important to us because when my grandmother was diagnosed, finding ways to make her last days pleasurable and finding tools to help her was difficult. She would’ve loved to have these resources and would’ve found a way to do this herself if she could have,” said Colicchio. Continue reading