Since 2008, Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics has provided $1,000 scholarships annually to five high school seniors from area high schools.
This year, they doubled the amount of the scholarships to $2,000.
Recently receiving scholarships were Cecilia Souza of Gilroy High School, Kianna Quinones of Christopher High School and Julien Garcia of San Benito High School.
Wafelbakker Anderson Orthodontics has a long history of philanthropy going back to 1988 when Dr. Bas W. Wafelbakker bought the practice in Gilroy. Today, he and Dr. Chris M. Anderson have additional offices in Morgan Hill, Hollister and Walnut Creek.
The majority of their patients are children and teenagers—although WAO also treats adults—and, as such, Wafelbakker and Anderson work to support today’s youth. In addition to donating through high school charity events, they supply scholarships to local high school students.
“We practice in the community, and we personally believe that it is important to give back to the community,” Wafelbakker said. “Pretty much all of our philanthropy is geared toward children because treating children is our business. As kids, we both had dreams and people who encouraged us. We want to pay that forward. However, kids have different talents, so we’ve started giving back to organizations like Little League, basketball and football teams, science competitions and high school choirs.”
Over the years, Wafelbakker and Anderson have sponsored individual children as well. For example, Wafelbakker once sponsored a kid who had an opportunity to play football in Hong Kong.
“I gave him a couple hundred bucks, which, back in 1988, was a lot more money than it is today, and he was super grateful,” he said. “That kid was Jeff Garcia, and he went on to be a quarterback for the 49ers.”
The dentists also donate pro bono orthodontic care via high school charity auctions.
“We always donate a case to treat through school auctions, and we often throw a few more cases in,” Wafelbakker said.