Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kids donate candy to troops, get cash

"LATHAM — It seems hard to believe that kids are willing to part with the candy they go door to door for on Halloween, but for over a decade, they’ve been doing just that. This year, in fact, candy collected by orthodontist offices Decker, Sbuttoni, Boghasian, DiCerbo and Lawless collected the sweet stuff to the tune of 1,180 pounds — In just one day.

With offices in Albany, Delmar and Latham, the practice has been participating in the candy buyback program since 1995. According to practice manager Gerry Clifford, the buyback program was the brainchild of the American Association of Orthodontists and was started in the early to mid 1990s.
The candy, along with toothbrushes and toothpaste are sent to the troops serving in active duty, through the national organization Blue Star Mothers. Though the practice has been participating in the program since 1995, Clifford said that it’s only the past three years that the candy has been sent to troops.Decker, Sbuttoni, Boghasian, DiCerbo and Lawless decided to team up with Blue Star Mothers, an organization for mothers who have children serving or have served, after learning that one of their employees, Erika, had a mother who was a member of the group.“Erika’s brother was overseas in Iraq at the time, and (Blue Star Mothers) were looking to send stuff over to them and that’s when we started teaming up with them,” Clifford said.Along with the candy, she notes, “we send toothbrushes and toothpaste to make sure they’re cleaning after they eat it.”"

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