Photo taken by Corinne Kopansky
A highlight of the 2022 Smile Gala Snow Ball on November 5, was the announcement that Dr. Aaron Kim was the recipient of this year’s Lyle Best Humanitarian Award.
Dr. Kim’s humanitarian work in Southern Africa started in 2005 when he and his team of undertook dental mission trips to Zimbabwe and Zambia, providing dental care and education to underprivileged communities. Through funding raised by Dr. Kim and the International College of Dentists (ICD), medical/dental clinics at the children’s orphanages Villages of Hope in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Guatemala were built.
In 2017, Dr. Kim led a team of dentists for the first dental mission trip to be conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe. He was also part of an event to deliver continuing dental education to the dentists of the Zimbabwe Dental Association. In 2012 and 2014 a donation of $10,000 in dental supplies was made by Dr. Kim and Mr. Gerry Hagglund of Sinclair Dental to the dental students at the University of Zimbabwe.
Dr. Kim continues to support dental mission work in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Guatemala.
His philanthropic mission work and his dedication to the students have been recognized by the Manitoba Dental Association (MDA) where Dr. Kim participates in their Mentorship program.
Given the pandemic hampered international dental mission work, Dr. Kim turned his attention to the under-served populations in Manitoba. In the Summer of 2022, Dr. Kim partnered with volunteer local dentists to work on a project with Access NorWest Co-op Community Health to have a day of free dental work for the those in need in Winnipeg. This pilot project was a success and ongoing initiatives are being taken to have this as an annual event in 2023.
Dr. Kim represents everything that this Award stands for including the qualities that embody a true humanitarian who is committed to his profession while making a difference in the world.
Lyle Best Humanitarian Award
The Lyle Best Humanitarian Award was established in 2018 and is given to an individual(s) dental practice or organization in Canada that has had a profound impact on the dental health of impoverished populations nationally or internationally. The $15,000 award is designed to aid in the continued effort of providing dental care to that population.
About Lyle Best
An entrepreneur and corporate leader, Lyle Best is a model of community spirit, social responsibility, and generosity. He has served in leadership roles with charitable, sports and community organizations, including the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, Kids with Cancer, and the University of Alberta, among many others. Lyle was an Order of Canada recipient in 2008. For 23 years, Lyle also served the Canadian dental community as a member of the CDSPI Board.