Bootsy Collins: The Funky Tooth Fairy

bootsy1William “Bootsy” Collins, known by some of his nicknames like, “Casper the Funky Ghost” to “Bootzilla,” and “The world’s only rhinestone rockstar monster of a doll” is one of the leading names in funk music. No matter what you call him, you can’t go down the list of funk hits without his name being mentioned. With hits like “I’d Rather Be With You” to “Bootzilla” or his signature sound on the funk classic, “Flashlight”, Bootsy lives and loves the funk.

There’s only one more thing that’s more important than funk to Bootsy, and that’s family. In 2011, Collins’ nephew, Kyle Willis, died from a easily treatable oral infection. Willis was unemployed and struggling to take care of his 6-year-old daughter, so he did what many uninsured Americans do when they face a dental emergency: He ignored it.

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Kyle Willis

Kyle Willis

Suffering with an abscessed wisdom tooth, Kyle, in pain and desperate for relief, arrived at the University Hospital emergency room in Cincinnati and was given prescriptions for pain medication and an antibiotic. But the 24-year-old single father passed away unexpectedly because he could not afford a prescribed $27 antibiotic, only the $3 painkiller.

When Bootsy heard the news he was devastated. Willis did not reach out to his famous uncle because he was out of town and didn’t want to bother him, reports said. So Bootsy did something about it and created the Kyle Willis Oral Care Program.

The Kyle Willis Oral Care Program was created in memory of Kyle Willis to promote dental care awareness. The objective is to provide under-served populations with access to oral care education, resources, and to direct individuals to available dental care services. The long term goal is a collaborative effort between general healthcare providers and oral health professionals. The educational services will not only be shared with…

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