Halloween candy doesn’t need to turn into a dental nightmare for little trick-or-treaters.
Several local dentists are offering youngsters a sweet deal: cash for collected candy that then will be sent to soldiers overseas.
In Summit County, dentists Tom and JoAnn Semans are holding their fifth annual Halloween candy buyback from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday at Semans Family Dentistry, 2660 W. Market St., Suite 200, Fairlawn.
Children 14 and younger can earn $1 per pound of donated wrapped candy, with a 5-pound maximum.
Prizes will be offered to the family and child bringing in the most candy.
Some other dental practices also are participating in Operation Gratitude, a national effort that sends thousands of care packages annually to U.S. service members deployed in hostile regions, their children and wounded soldiers.
Dentist Milton Ntragatakis is hosting a candy buyback from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday at Brunswick Kidds Pediatric Dentistry, 1824 Pearl Road.
Children who surrender their Halloween haul can earn $1 per pound for themselves and 50 cents per pound for their school. Donated candy will be shared with Operation Gratitude.
“Getting candy out of their hands is something we want to do,” practice employee Michelle Deweese said. “Also, we want to give back to the community.”
Dr. Bryan Terhune Jr. is offering children $1 per pound of donated candy, up to $10, through Nov. 8 at the dental practice, 4088 Holiday St. NW, Jackson Township.
Children can bring their candy to the office 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday. “The kids are already calling,” office manager Barb Schneider said.
For the fourth year, Dr. Michael Mead is hosting a Halloween candy buyback at his practice, at 12981 Cleveland Ave. NW, Lake Township.
The practice is offering $1 per pound, up to 5 pounds, to children who donate their candy to a service member from Northeast Ohio who is deployed in Kuwait.
The collection will take place 3 to 5 p.m. Monday. Participants are encouraged to write notes to the troops to be included with the candy.
In the previous three years, the dental practice collected almost 500 pounds of candy to send to a troop and Operation Gratitude.
“It’s a really cool, fun event,” office manager Laura Mead said. “Parents and grandparents want to unload their excess candy.”
D.D.S. Girdlestone Pediatric Dental Specialist also is collecting candy during regular business hours, through Nov. 8, at its office, 3801 Whipple Ave. NW, Jackson Township.
The practice is paying $1 per pound for donated candy from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
Canned foods and nonperishable items also are being accepted to send to U.S. service members deployed in hostile regions.
To find other dental practices nationwide participating in the Halloween Candy Buyback program for Operation Gratitude, visit www.halloweencandybuyback.com.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.