by John Pohl
July 30, 2009

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: Climb for A Cause, dental health education, dental treatment, disadvantaged, continuing education, Daniel Bobrow, John Pohl.

If you read “Climb for A Cause” by Dr. Joe Blaes in last month’s issue of Dental Economics®, you know that Climb for A Cause is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the appeal of the mountains to raise funds and provide services for those in need of dental care.

The organization was founded by Daniel A. “Danny” Bobrow, president of American Dental Marketing. In founding and running Climb for A Cause the past 15 years, Danny has been able to simultaneously indulge his three passions: dentistry, the mountains, and giving back. In the process, he has adapted Ben Franklin’s sage advice and made it his own — “Do well by doing good … and having fun.”

Each year, Climb for A Cause selects a special venue for an exhilarating Labor Day weekend hike. This year’s selection is a special place indeed — the world-renowned Half Dome in California’s Yosemite Valley. The basic itinerary will be as follows:

  • Friday, Sept. 4: Participants arrive
  • Saturday, Sept. 5: Participants attend dental-related seminars for CE credit and make last-minute preparations for the big event
  • Sunday, Sept. 6: Hike Half Dome in the morning and afternoon (less strenuous activities will also be available for nonhikers), and attend a celebratory dinner that evening

Many participants will no doubt opt to take advantage of the spectacular location by staying on in Yosemite for a few more days, or heading on to such legendary nearby destinations as San Francisco, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Reno/Lake Tahoe, or the Carmel/Monterey Bay area on Monday morning — unless, of course, they did this prior to the event.

Although no mountain climbing is involved, preparing for the event can be an excellent way to maintain or improve one’s physical conditioning. The event offers an unsurpassed blend of spectacular scenery, invigorating exercise, and outstanding camaraderie. Speaking of which, this year’s climbers include industry consultant Bill Blatchford, CEO Wayne Lavery, dentists Grant Ritchey and Dale Travis, and hygienists Anne Couch, Cassie McGraw, and Karolyn Thomas.

The money raised by and on behalf of these hikers will go toward providing badly needed dental care in Guatemala and Cambodia.

And, in case you are wondering, you don’t need to travel to Half Dome to support this cause. You can be a “virtual climber” like Scott Emalfarb, DDS, from Chicago. He will be organizing a fund-raising party with the support of the American Dental Marketing staff. In addition to supporting Climb for A Cause, fund-raising parties can be a terrific way to strengthen relationships with current patients and generate valuable exposure to prospective patients.

Studies show that, other things being equal, consumers are more likely to support a company or organization that is associated with a worthy cause than one that is not. Moreover, the mountains have a healthy, adventurous cachet that will likely enhance the image of any organization involved with these events.

Challenging economic times can exact a disproportionate toll on the underprivileged, as charitable donations are often the first expenditure targeted by cost-cutting businesses. Fortunately, supporting Climb for A Cause allows a dental practice to grow its business while still giving something back to those who are so deeply in need.

If you are interested in supporting Climb for A Cause — either by hiking Half Dome or serving as a “virtual climber” — please call Virginia Norton at (312) 455-9488, or send an e-mail to her at

John Pohl is the founder and CEO (Chief Elevator Operator) of 14th Floor Solutions, a strategic marketing agency serving the dental, consumer, and industrial markets. He also authors a blog called “The View from the 14th Floor” (, and is a member of the Climb for A Cause board. Visit for more information.

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