9 years ago, the team at Westermeier Martin Dental Care, (many of them moms themselves), noticed a trend. They saw that many Moms took care of their family’s needs first, putting themselves last, sometimes leading to poor oral health and smiles they were embarrassed by. Knowing that improving your smile improves your life, the team decided to do something about this.

In 2010, they came up with the idea of honoring one special deserving Mom for Mother’s Day with a Smile Makeover and a day of pampering. Before long, this idea turned to reality and for nine years in a row, one lucky Mom has been chosen from among hundreds to experience this recognition and award. Each Mother’s Day winner was different of course, each having a unique story and situation, and each truly deserving. It’s Westermeier Martin Dental Care’s way of honoring all Moms of the community who work so hard for their families.

Maria Miecyjak, Practice Administrator, explains: “At first when we started this event, we really thought it would be fun, choosing one person to grant this special prize to. But it ended up being so hard, there were so many deserving moms, it’s difficult to choose just one. We’d gather up the top ten candidates and review these entries for several days, and after much deliberation and discussion by both dentists and team, we’d choose 3 finalists. “ The ultimate choice is made after personal interviews with the three finalists, by the team and the dentists.

Justin Sullivan decided that 2018 was the year for his beloved Mom, Kathleen, to get the smile she'd been dreaming of. Like so many other Moms, Kathleen's children's needs always came first. Justin's nominating letter caught the attention of the team at Westermeier Martin Dental Care and made her a finalist.

“Words cannot describe how much my mom means to me and my 9 siblings. (Yes, you read that correctly, she is a mother of 10.) She is the most kind-hearted, selfless person I know. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world, but she always puts her kids first, and does it with a smile on her face. The best thing about my mom is that she loves her family unconditionally and makes sure her kids (and 6 grandchildren) live the best lives possible. She could never afford dental work growing up, however, I think it made one of her missions as a parent to make sure her children’s teeth were always in tip-top shape (in 22 years, I’ve only had one cavity). Her dedication to give her children what she unfortunately never had is in my opinion, the epitome of strength. Whether it be cheering us on at a sporting event, leaving notes in her kid’s lunch boxes or calling her kids just to let us know she loves us, my mom is always thinking of others. This is evident in the 30 kids she has fostered over the last 25 years. Having her teeth fixed would mean the world to my mom and knowing she can smile with confidence would mean so much to all the people who have the privilege of having her in their lives. Everyday my mom puts a smile on my face, and it would mean so much if she could be chosen for the Mother’s Day makeover, so the much-deserved favor can be returned to her.”

Carrying flowers and balloons, Maria rang Kathleen's front door bell to deliver the great news that she won the Mother's Day Smile Makeover (check out the video of this on www.wmsmile.com- it’s priceless!) Kathleen was surprised, excited and thrilled to hear the news.

“I can’t believe my son’s entry letter got me chosen for this fantastic smile makeover. I never win anything!” Kathleen exclaimed. She showed Maria photos of her 10 children, 6 grandchildren and the 30 foster children she'd cared for during the past 25 years. Kathleen teared up as she showed a photo of her and her late husband.

Kathleen continued: “When it came to the day of the Smile Makeover, I was really nervous. I knew for a long time that something really needed to be done about my teeth, but had no idea of how I’d ever be able to afford it. Everybody at Westermeier Martin Dental made me feel so comfortable and safe, you can tell that they really care about their patients. It’s obvious by just talking to them that they’re perfectionists and take pride in their work. I really appreciate that they focused on fixing my teeth, not on how they got that way. My treatment was extensive, but I was totally comfortable the whole time I was in their dental chair”.

In addition to the Smile Makeover, Cielo Salon of East Aurora treated Kathleen to a complete hair and makeup makeover, plus a mani/pedi. She felt very pampered with Cielo's friendly and professional staff as they worked their magic, and walked out looking and feeling beautiful. Eros Day Spa and Wellness Center of East Aurora donated a luxurious spa treatment to our lucky winner. The charming and historic Roycroft Inn pitched in with an overnight stay including a champagne dinner for two. Kathleen also won 2 tickets to the Aurora Theater.

Dr. Scott Westermeier adds: “This is one of the many ways we give back to our community. This year we are celebrating 84 years of service to Western New York. My grandfather and father created a caring, professional foundation for my partner Jeff and me. The best part of what we do, is when we show our patients their beautiful new Westermeier Martin smiles. The hugs and kisses- and more often than not- the tears of joy that follow are a huge payback and favorite part of our days!”

Has the Smile Makeover changed Kathleen’s life? You decide. As for Kathleen, she's out there enjoying life to the fullest with her family and her new smile, and much too busy to answer any more questions from this reporter.