South Windsor Smiles - March 2020

March 2020

Basketball and Community Outreach

March brings with it a promise of spring — and quite a busy month for me and my team. We’re starting to feel the pull of warmer weather and finally shaking off what’s left of winter. All of us are looking forward to seeing bright blue skies, saying goodbye to the bitter cold, and waking up to a shining sun. Let’s not forget that March brings with it plenty of fun too.

year in Danbury. We’ll be heading out on March 20 or 21 to join almost 500 other volunteers. I’ve been a huge part of CTMOM since day one, and I’m thrilled to head back out and help the community where I can. CTMOM is a two-day event where medical and dental professionals provide free dental services to anyone in the community so they can get what they need done. On the dental side, this includes an exam and cleaning, plus fillings or a root canal if appropriate. We can provide dentures, especially for a front tooth or several front teeth, and give patients hope for a better smile. This year’s CTMOM is what we’re calling a “Full Mission of Mercy.”We’ll be setting up at Western Connecticut State University with around 130 chairs to provide our services to the community.The whole event takes a full day to set up. Our materials, including chairs, instruments, and everything we need that would support a clinic on any given day, will be set aside in huge boxes and later assembled with assistance from plumbers and electricians. We’ll have dentists, hygienists, assistants, physicians, and students all there to participate; plus, emergency medical technicians will be standing by in case they’re needed. Additionally, we’ll have a whole area set aside for optimizing disinfection and sterilization and an area where we can distribute soft and hard goods to our patients. The entire setup costs around $500,000–$700,000, all of which is donated by foundations, charities, and individuals throughout the state of Connecticut.These donations keep this amazing event running each year. If you’re interested in learning more or want to get involved, visit the website at

One of those fun things, of course, is March Madness. I think most of us are somehow involved with the hype of the college basketball championship. For the past few years, Connecticut has been represented strongly by our women’s team, which holds 11 NCAA titles and ranks fourth nationally. I love this time of year

A look at the 2019 CTMOM clinic in full swing

when people all across the state come together to celebrate local teams, even if that means just chatting about favorite teams or asking how the championship is going. I know my staff and I are hoping that the local teams make it this year; though by the time this newsletter comes out, we will know the participating teams. As always, we’ll be hoping for our men’s team to snag a spot, but we know that the women can easily make it to the Final Four and even bring home another trophy.We’re all very excited to see how the championship turns out this year. In addition to all this excitement, my staff and I are preparing a huge trip for our annual participation with the Connecticut Mission of Mercy (CTMOM) program. In years previous, we’ve gone to many cities throughout Connecticut, including London, Hartford, and New Haven.This year will be our third

We’re excited for what this March is bringing us, and we hope your spring is wonderful and full.

–Dr. Kevin Norige www . southwindsorsmiles . com


During the mid-2000s, the KishiTrain Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat namedTama. Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station. The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of theWakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers to care for her before he moved away — he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much. So, Kojima decided to go meetTama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later,Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi Station, the first cat stationmaster in Japan.To complete her look, THE F IRST FEL INE STAT IONMASTER IN ALL OF JAPAN Tama, the Calico

Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates. As an official stationmaster,Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much-needed foot traffic to Kishi Station.Thousands of tourists came rushing to Kishi to seeTama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick upTama merchandise inside the station. Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on.Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistantYontama at Idakiso, five stations away. Tama’s friendly and loving nature impacted many people around her, and she will always be affectionately known as the cat who saved the Japanese train station.

happy Patients “In the past, going to the dentist was not something I looked forward to. I used to feel quite nervous and uptight. Now, maybe because I’m older and more sure of myself, I feel more relaxed, but perhaps the people at SouthWindsor Smiles have a lot to do with making the patients feel quite at ease. Once, some wise person said to me, ‘If a business is doing well, you can almost bet that the CEO is a good person!’ Well, I surely feel that Dr. Norige transfers his happy personality to every person who works with him and to every person who goes to him for help. For me, SouthWindsor Smiles is a good place to visit.” –Karen R.

“I always leave here laughing — yes, from a dentist!They’re all very friendly, understanding, and caring, and they always make me comfortable. Not to mention, they do a great job on my teeth!”

“Although I used to ‘dread’ going to the dentist, Dr. Norige makes my experience as delightful as one can say the experience is. I always think about canceling the appointment before I go but know that I’ll come away happy.”

–Ricardo O.

–Carol A.

“From the moment you enter their office, everyone is so friendly and helpful and makes you feel welcomed. As you are escorted into the room to meet with Dr. Norige and his assistant, you are treated like you are part of the family. Dr. Norige is very thorough with going over the details of the services that need to be performed and is the most outstanding dentist I’ve been to in a number of years.”

“Hands down the best practice in the greater Hartford area from the minute you walk in until you leave. It’s a very warm and caring atmosphere, and there’s no shortage of care here.”

–Michael H.


www . southwindsorsmiles . com


OUR vision remains the same

Through the years, we’ve seen friends come and go, both as patients and teammates. We are grateful for the time we got to share with Deb and Shelby, and we will miss them both as they head on to new adventures in their lives. We wish them health and happiness! While Deb and Shelby will be missed, we are excited to meet new people who share our passion for patient health. At the time of this writing, we are looking for the best possible caregivers to add to our hygiene team. If you’ve come in for hygiene care recently, then we thank you for being so welcoming to the hygienists who have been auditioning with us, and we thank those who have helped keep smiles healthy during this transition. As you know, our team is like a close little family, and we are going to be picky about who gets the chance to join us because it is a privilege to care for you and yours. Author BrianTracy said, “Attitude and personality are as important as experience and ability.”We agree, and we want to make sure the new members we bring in are caring individuals with great interpersonal skills and professional skills.

We understand that you trust us to give you an honest diagnosis and top-quality treatment using a combination of cutting-edge tools and old-world customer service.We’ll make sure our new teammates have the training they need to live up to your expectations for SouthWindsor Smiles.


Puzzle Your Brain

Cheesecake Bars

i ngred i ents

Inspired by

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 eggs

1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick butter, melted

Green sprinkles, optional

1 oz green food coloring (gel works best)

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened

d i rect i ons

1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine crumbs, butter, and food coloring. Press into the baking pan. 3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together.

4. Add eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla. 5. Pour mixture over the packed crumbs. 6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set. 7. Let cool completely before adding sprinkles and slicing.

P ublished by T he newsletter P ro | www .T he N ewsletter P ro . com



112 Deming St. SouthWindsor, CT 06074



th i s i ssue

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A Fun-Filled March

Bringing Love, Joy, and Life Back to Kishi Station Testimonials

New Faces, Same Great Care! Green Velvet Cheesecake Bars


The Evolution of St. Patrick’s Day

Completely Different Roots

Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland vs. America

From extravagant parades to green-dyed rivers, something about St. Patrick’s Day feels quintessentially American — despite its Irish heritage.That’s because many common St. Patrick’s Day traditions actually originated in America, evolving beyond their roots in the Emerald Isle in a few key ways. On March 17, Irish folks commemorate the death of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Historically, these religious origins make for a more somber observance of St. Patrick’s Day. Many Irish families go to church and eat a modest feast as the extent of their celebration. However, St. Patrick’s Day in America is not so much about venerating Ireland’s patron saint as it is about celebrating Irish heritage in a foreign land. When Catholic Irish immigrants first came to the United States, they faced persecution from a largely Protestant population. In response, Irish Americans began using March 17 as a day to publicly declare and celebrate Irish heritage with parades and demonstrations.

Then, in the booming post-WorldWar II economy, various businesses aggressively marketed the holiday to Americans of all heritages.Thus, it became a day when anyone could celebrate Irish American heritage, or at least it gave everyone an excuse to drink like they believe the Irish do. Ironically, imbibing was not a part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland until relatively recently. Due to the religious nature of the holiday, pubs and bars closed down on March 17 until 1961. Additionally, the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage is another American addition. In Ireland, pork and cabbage was actually more common, but impoverished Irish immigrants substituted less expensive beef for pork, and the tradition stuck. Even though the most widely observed St. Patrick’s Day celebrations originated in America, many of them have found their way back to Ireland. Starting in 1996, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin now attracts over 1 million attendees with all the drinks and revelry that Americans love.You’d be hard pressed to find a green beer, though. In the hallowed birthplace of Guinness and whiskey, some traditions may be better left across the pond.

The observation of St. Patrick’s Day grew in popularity in cities with large Irish populations, like Boston, NewYork, and Chicago.

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