Posted on Feb 07, 2019

(Pictured L-R:  Dave Bennett, Rotary Club of Flushing President; Dr. James Cantwil, DDS;  Darwin Scherba, Rotary Service Above Self Award Coordinator).

Dr. James K. Cantwil, DDS, has received the Rotary Club of Flushing’s distinguished Service Above Self Award for 2019.

Cantwil, who has owned and operated a dental practice in Flushing for 12 years, was presented with the honor at the Rotary Club’s breakfast meeting last Thursday. He received the award based on three qualifications: exemplifying outstanding professional achievement within his occupation; contributing his time and energy to the problems and needs of society; and demonstrating high ethical standards.

From a professional achievement standpoint, Cantwil has received several comprehensive dental and surgical certifications.

He also serves as a trustee on the Michigan Dental Association board (MDA) and has served multiple terms on the Genesee District Dental Society Board of Directors.

In many instances, Cantwil has given of his time to take care of the needs of others. He has participated as a coordinator for the Give Kids a Smile Foundation, volunteered as an oral health presenter in the Flushing, Swartz Creek and Clio school districts (1994-2014) and served as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector at local Catholic parishes (1980 to the present).

Cantwil has also completed several volunteer medical trips with the Haiti Dental Mission to the mountain village of Delatte, Haiti. As part of the team, he has helped to provide dental care and surgery to over 360 people in an impoverished region.

Cantwil will return to Haiti this month, where he will bring a pre-med college student along to get hands-on experience and receive the spiritual reward of serving others.

The Rotary Club also wishes to recognize Cantwil for his commitment to high ethical standards. As a convenience store employee from 1979-1988, Cantwil observed abuses in the use of state aid and food stamps. That experience has led him to remain politically active in regard to reforming the use of the state’s welfare programs.

Cantwil graduated from the University Of Detroit’s School Of Dentistry in 1988 and practiced as an associate dentist until 1989, when he began his own practice in Flint Township. He would later move his office to its current W. Pierson Road location in 1997.

Cantwil has been married to his wife, Elisa, since 1986 and has three children: Elizabeth (born 1989), Olivia (born 1992), and Roselyn (born 1996).

The Rotary Club of Flushing’s Service Above Self Award reflects Rotary International’s motto and seeks to recognize someone in the Flushing community who goes above and beyond (Service above Self) in their service to the community and beyond, thereby exemplifying the Rotary motto. The recipient is always a non-Rotarian.

The Flushing Rotary Club instituted this award in 2011 and has awarded it in each subsequent year to a Flushing area resident who demonstrates this level of selfless service. It is among the highest annual recognitions awarded by the Flushing Rotary Club. 

(Reprinted from article by Ben Gagnon, The Flushing View, February 7 2019)