Turning candy into cash

For children, Halloween means trick-or-treating. And trick-or-treating means lots and lots of candy. Candy means sugar, and sugar means cavities.

One local dentist office is trying to save teeth and support oversees troops.

Family Dentistry in Granville will host an inaugural Halloween candy buy back and fall festival next Saturday, Nov. 2. Instead of entering a candy-coma, area children will instead have a chance to turn their candy into cash.

Shelly Curtis, an administrative assistant at the office, presented the idea to her fellow staff after hearing about it elsewhere.

“A couple of my friends don’t even take their kids trick-or-treating because the kids don’t eat it,” she said, so she wanted to take action. “We had to come up with something at the dental office.”

But she wasn’t just looking to throw out pounds of candy; rather, she wanted to recycle it to a better cause.

“We had to do something to get it out of their mouths and somewhere where it was useful,” Curtis said. She came across Operation Gratitude, an organization that annually sends more than 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment and personal letters of appreciation to those serving overseas, according to its website.

So once the candy is collected, Family Dentistry staff will send it to Operation Gratitude, who will send it to troops. The office will pay children age 16 and younger $1 per pound of wrapped Halloween candy, with adult supervision.

But partaking in this sweet deal isn’t the only way to participate.

“If someone wants to come and support the troops but doesn’t want to donate candy, they can still come for the harvest festival,” Curtis said. At the fall festival, there will be a coloring table where children can make cards for soldiers. Also on tap will be games, festivities, face painting, air brushing, very light refreshments and more.

The dental office will also send a care package abroad along with the candy, and any money that gets donated through the event will go to the troops. Door prizes will be offered to those who come, and every child that donates candy will be entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire HDX.

And what keeps Curtis so interested in the cause?

“I have three children of my own that don’t need candy either,” she said.

Family Dentistry is located at 89 North St. in Granville. For more information call 518-642-2111.

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