Walker Society giving tops $1 million in 2021

Dr. Richard and Mrs. Mary Panek

Dr. Richard Panek and his wife, Mary, presented a legacy gift commitment of $850,000 to the OMS Foundation during the 2021 AAOMS Annual Meeting, bringing the Foundation’s new and upgraded R.V. Walker Society commitments for the year to $1.04 million. “Dentistry and OMS have been very good to us,” Dr. Panek said. “Mary and I agree that any riches from our work should be shared, if possible. We believe that supporting the development of the future leaders of AAOMS will preserve the vitality of the specialty, and a planned gift to the Foundation was an efficient way to accomplish that.”

Early in his career, Dr. Gary Seldomridge made “minor” contributions to a company IRA, setting the account aside when he changed jobs after a year. He named the Foundation as beneficiary and, by 2009, the account’s value qualified him and Christina Seldomridge for recognition as Walker Society donors. The value of the Seldomridges’ “minor” investment has since surpassed $80,000. They could not be more pleased. “I’ve had an incredible career,” Dr. Seldomridge said. “I have attended nearly every AAOMS Annual Meeting since I was a resident and served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Society and as a Delegate for District II, and Christina served on the Foundation’s Alliance Board. We’ve known and worked with some of the specialty’s best people, and it’s our pleasure to earmark this fund to support the Foundation.”

Dr. Erik Evans formally committed to a legacy gift to the Foundation in 2021, but “giving back” was on his mind for several years and embedded in his personal culture since childhood. “My dad (Dr. T.W. Evans) is the reason I’m an OMS. I knew in seventh grade that I wanted to help people the way that he did. Along with Drs. Guillermo Chacon and Deepak Krishnan, my dad was my inspiration, my mentor and my role model. Dr. Walker was a mentor and friend of my father’s. Their friendship inspired me to become a Foundation donor and Walker Society member.”

Dr. and Mrs. Gary and Christina Seldomridge

Dr. Howard and Irene Fisher are among the Foundation’s most consistent and generous supporters, contributing more than $100,000 over the years to the Campaign for Research and Education, REAP, Davis Challenge, Centennial Tree and Annual Fund. The Fishers’ spontaneous gift-match challenge at the 2019 Florida Society meeting generated more than $50,000 for the Foundation. Recently, the Fishers announced a $100,000 gift to the Foundation in their estate plan. “Thanks to the generosity of OMSs like Dr. Walker, I’ve had a wonderful life doing work that I love,” Dr. Fisher said. “I consider it an honor, not an obligation, to help create that same opportunity for the next generation and to ensure that our specialty continues to progress.”

Dr. Eric Geist upgraded his legacy giving commitment in 2021 and invited several dozens of his colleagues to follow suit. “The resources needed to provide meaningful, high-quality, innovative research and state-of-the-art education have increased significantly,” he said. “We are at the threshold of transformative digital technology across all phases of patient care. Cutting-edge research facilitates better care and improved outcomes for our patients. It’s my responsibility – and my pleasure – to help secure the future of the specialty that has given us so much.”

The Foundation extends its sincere gratitude to these donors and Drs. Stuart Lieblich and Janot Bente, Dr. Herb and Mary Stith as well as Drs. Cynthia Winne and James Newton for their commitments to the Walker Society in 2021.