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What to Do With Extra Halloween Candy

Local dentists are participating in a Halloween Candy Buyback program to provide candy to U.S. military troops through Operation Gratitude. Following is how to participate, and how children can receive money in return.

One national group would be delighted to take all those pounds of tempting Halloween candy off your hands. And local dentists, such as All Star Dental in Eureka, are integral players in the program.

A national candy buyback program was launched in 2003; now all candy goes toward developing 60,000 to 100,000 care packages for American military representatives stationed internationally through Operation Gratitude. Last year, organizers said they shipped 125 tons of candy to U.S. soldiers.

Arthur Engelage, DMD, FAGD, at All Star Dental, said all anyone has to do to participate in the program is bring a child with unopened candy to donate to his office at 201 A. "E" Fifth St. within this first week after Halloween. The dental staff will weigh the candy, and pay children $1 per pound—up to a 10-pound maximum.

This is the third year that All Star Dental staffers have hosted and sponsored the candy buyback initiative.

Donations of dental hygiene products to send to military representatives also are encouraged and collected:

  • Commercially-sealed lip balm
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash (travel-size)

Chris Kammer, DDS, is a founding member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Along with a public relations firm, he launched the concept of candy buyback at Halloween. Since then, the program has been said to have taken on a life of its own.

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