HAMPTON, Va. - It's definitely not feeling like Christmas outside, but that didn't stop one Hampton dentist from spreading holiday cheer in summer!
It was patient Debra Ruffin who nominated LeJeune Family Dentistry for a People Taking Action award.
"People are desperate to have good news!"
And here it is: For years, this office has collected food and donations for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. But Debra says there's much more this office does in the community.
"But knowing him over 20-plus years, he's done a lot of other things," she explained. "He sponsors a 5K run for a local charity."
The "he" she's speaking of is Dr. Barry LeJeune, who takes action in a number of ways. In addition to being a local drop-off site for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, they've also collected money for the Peninsula SPCA and have done mission trips heading to the western part of the state, providing free dental care to communities with limited access.
Debra also loves how this dentist celebrates Junemas! We've all heard of Christmas, but what is Junemas?
Debra explains, "It's a celebration - an extension of Christmas in the summer in order to..."
But at that moment in our interview with Debra, we got word Dr. LeJeune was about to emerge from working on a patient. News 3 was ready to surprise him with a People Take Action award, but first, he shared why it's important for his office to take action in the community with Junemas.
"The Christmas spirit is something that really you should have all year long. So, I thought it would be great to take another day - the Christmas spirit where we go out into the community and at least show people who are hopeless, that gives them a little bit of hope," Dr. LeJeune explained.
In addition to a People Taking Action award, he was also presented with a $300 Visa gift card from News 3's community partner, Southern Bank.
Dr. LeJeune was very appreciative and also let us know that in addition to providing food donated by his patients to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, they also provided a monetary donation of $375.
Dr. Lejeune is already planning a bigger community outreach for next year's Junemas.
To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.