Soldier's Angels sending leftover candy to troops

A field of 171 flags from the Kiwanis Club honor veterans outside Seminole City Hall.

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Too much candy this Halloween?

How would you like to turn those surplus sweets into some cold cash?

Check out a program this year that local dentists are sinking their teeth into for a great cause. That's what Marsha Elston did.

Elston could've brought her surplus Halloween candy to the office. Or, of course, she and her husband would've eventually consumed it.

"We don't need to be eating six pounds of candy," she said.

So instead, Elston – like so many recovering trick-or-treaters around the country - is trading in her sweet tooth for a sweet gesture.

The 2016 Halloween Candy Buy Back is an opportunity for people to bring their surplus candy to a local dentist office, collect some cash, and eventually see that candy make its way to troops overseas.

Ten-year-old Joseph Fairchild dropped off two pounds of candy he had left over from Halloween.

"Because it was the right thing to do," he said.

This week dentist offices around the country, including several in Tampa Bay, are participating, including Monticciolo Dentistry in New Port Richey. 

The program pays $1 for every pound of candy brought into the office. The ghoulish goodies are then sent to troops overseas with help from an organization called Soldier's Angels.

"It's a great reward, you know? The money works well for them also. So, it's a win-win for everyone," said local dentist Dr. Vincent Monticciolo.

At the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, folks couldn't say enough nice things about the idea.

"You get all excited before you even open it. No matter what's in there, somebody's thinking about you at home," said Arnie Estey.

John Erd agreed.

"And to open up a package and say some kid gave up his candy for me, I mean that's got to touch your heart, you know?" said Erd.

Oh, and if it sounds a bit odd - dentist's offices distributing candy care packages - don't worry.

There's a cavity caveat!

Along with all those treats, each recipient gets a brand new toothbrush.

"It's such a small thing to do," said Elston, "But it means so much at the other end."

Everyone who had donated candy Tuesday afternoon at Dr. Monticciolo's office also handed back the money, asking office workers to donate it to the same charity. 

To learn more about the program and find a dentist office near you participating click here.


(© 2016 WTSP)


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