Fish Taco Fundraiser CANCELLED

This letter has just come in from Fish For Teeth founders Matt and Maureen Marinkovich…

Friday’s Fish for Teeth fish taco fundraiser


We started Fish for Teeth as an impulsive action in 2007 after a nine-year old girl showed me her mouth full of cavities. Now, after well over a decade of Fish Tacos and Dental Vans, it looks like another impulsive action will bring our involvement with Fish for Teeth to an end.

I’d venture to say we process ideas and challenges a little differently than most people. That is why Fish for Teeth came about in the first place. Well, it’s that same difference that affords Maureen and I the perspective to not be afraid when the whole Covid narrative is fear, fear, fear. Ultimately, we see the Emperor is standing buck naked before us all, and we are tired of the scenery.

The make-up of our personal fibers left us no choice but to speak out and take action to try to help others see with similar clarity, and to speak for those who agree but are afraid or unable to stand up. We’ve been protesting on the corner over the past few weeks, but it was the simple action of going shopping without a mask that whipped up a torrent which rippled outward with more force than we could have imagined.

Fish for Teeth could never be the great thing it has become without the community support needed to make it happen. All I have ever done (with lots of help) is line people up to do the many jobs needed to make the dental van happen, fundraise with fish tacos, and remind people the importance of a strong community. Now it seems the community is ripped in half because… Maureen and I went shopping without a mask? Really? 

With the state of affairs as it is, if we moved forward with Friday’s scheduled Fish Taco fundraiser, it would force our beloved Fish for Teeth “Team Taco” volunteers and Kiwanis Taco-Angels to have to choose sides if they were to support us or not. That is divisive, and that is never what we’ve been about, so it is obviously better to call the whole thing off than to draw lines in our community. 

In addition, the owners of the venue at which we were going have the Fish Taco fundraiser refused us the use of their space, so we had nowhere lined up to hold the event. Normally I’ve got lots of energy to overcome any obstacle, but since our “community machine” is not firing on all cylinders right now, we figured it’s best to let this one go. But don’t worry, the dental van is still coming next week, so people will still get their teeth fixed.

In our peaceful protest by shopping without a mask, Maureen and I never for a minute thought it would wind up with the Fish for Teeth fish taco fundraiser being cancelled. This is very disappointing collateral damage, and definitely not our intention. Sorry, not all of our abstract ideas can hit a home run…

We still love you all and we hope there is no hard feelings toward us, but if there is, we understand.

Matt and Maureen Marinkovich

Posted on September 29, 2021 at 4:33 pm by

Categories: Community, Dining, Health & Wellness


  1. Disobeying public health policies, trespassing and risking spreading a lethal disease in a public gathering place does not qualify as a “peaceful protest”, any more than you can “peacefully” discharge a gun or light a fire in a crowded room.
    More than 300 people have contracted COVID-19 on the San Juan Islands. One in 500 Americans have died of it. You assert that your site “is intentionally filtered so that it shares the positives, not the negatives.” Here’s a big negative: Promoting behaviour that encourages the spread of a pandemic. Please show some minimal journalistic responsibility and stop providing a forum for deluded people who are promoting dangerous, discredited nonsense.

    Comment by L. Gelbart on September 30, 2021 at 6:04 am
  2. Go to their website and make a donation in lieu. That’s what Don and I have done. Hopefully, someday, sanity will prevail.

    Comment by Chris Sly-Prochnow on September 30, 2021 at 6:52 am
  3. The Marinkovich’s know as well as any that this is a small community and a fishbowl when notorious actions are taken. What they don’t seem to realize is that their decision to force their misinformed, fuzzy over-reaction to the Governors/County mask mandate on private businesses they aggressively crossed a bright line. Appropriate public demonstrations against whatever end at entering an establishment with an intent to endanger others and disrupt operations should result in banishment and public ridicule. Your facebook statements and plans for further disruptive action may completely tarnish your reputations with the majority who live here and object to your untethered public behaviour.

    Steve Ulvi

    Comment by Steve Ulvi on September 30, 2021 at 8:36 am
  4. Fish For Teeth has been a great benefit for our underserved and I’m sad to see this go. But let’s be honest here. This is a product of the Marinkovichs’ own doing, not the fault of anyone else. Their protests and disruptive behavior stand against well-established medical science, the health of our community, and day-to-day operations of local businesses.

    As a community, we must do what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which means getting vaccinated and wearing masks. Millions of people have lost loved ones unnecessarily to this highly communicable disease.

    I long for the day when we can see each other’s cavity-free smiles again. But, until we have stopped this disease, let’s don our masks and smile at each other with our eyes.

    Comment by Joey McCarthy on September 30, 2021 at 8:51 am
  5. We have the freedom to go unmasked in so many outdoor places. But when we go inside unmasked, we make a decision that affects the workers, and all the vulnerable people out there–more than you know. If you are unvaccinated and unmasked, you increase that risk tremendously. If we take masks off, then we are relying on people to be honest and concerned about others. What I see right now in our country does not inspire me to think that many of us are those things (honest and concerned for others). I fought for my life so that I could be a grandmother and mother and friend and community member. I want masks. It’s so easy. Just for the time we are together in a grocery store! What is so hard about that? If just to put your fellow community members at ease? If just to imagine that not everyone thinks just like you. This is a statewide mandate, if you didn’t know. Not something Frank James or Vern or our County thought up.

    Comment by Shann Weston on October 1, 2021 at 8:31 am
  6. I have to wonder if the cooperative under which Matt Marinkovich fishes is supportive of his and Maureen’s actions. Is their protest also this company’s? Do other contracted fishers hold these kind of demonstrations, and embrace the notion that masks are frivolous and an invasion on their personal rights? I wonder, too, about the quality of their characters: They state they are fervently concerned about the dental health of our islanders but this concern extends no further than their unmasked faces. Indeed, we can donate directly to this service, and move on. Gay Graham

    Comment by Gay Graham on October 1, 2021 at 10:15 am
  7. I’m ashamed to share an island with these people. We have all worked so hard, and have given up so much. Put on a mask like the rest of us so we can get through this awful time. You’re making it so much worse.

    Comment by Kira Sable on October 1, 2021 at 1:20 pm

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