Connecticut dentists, State Police gather extra Halloween candy to send to troops overseas

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If you think your kids have enough sweets on the other 364 days of the year, there’s an chance for a teaching moment and get rid of some extra candy.

There are several opportunities to donate candy to be sent to troops overseas.

The first opportunity is through the Connecticut State Police. If you have any leftover sweets, they ask for you to bring them to State Police Headquarters located at 111 Country Club Rd. in Middletown, and anything donated between November 2 and November 6 will be sent to troops who won’t have the opportunity to go trick-or-treating this year.

Another opportunity is through a program run via the Connecticut State Dental Association.

The Halloween Candy Buy Back Drive exchanges $1 for every pound of candy donated in November. All candy received will be sent to troops overseas as part of Operation Gratitude.

“We fully support children going trick-or-treating and collecting their favorite candies,” said Dr. Jeff Berkleym, the president of the CSDA. “We also encourage parents to use Halloween as a time to show their children the value of donating their candy as a token of gratitude. Not only will your children be ingesting less sugar, but they will be rewarded in return for contributing their prized Halloween loot.”

Here is a list of dentist offices participating in the state’s program, the dates that the offices will participate, and any special “deals”:

  • Salonia Dental (Middletown): November 2 and 3
  • Farmington Valley Orthodontics (Avon): November 2; $2 per pound up to 10 pounds
  • Blue Black Dental (West Hartford): November 2; $1 per pound up to 5 pounds, plus a surprise gift
  • Brooker Memorial Children’s Dental (Torrington): November 2-4; patients only
  • Dental Associates (Danbury, New Milford, Newtown, Shelton): November 3
  • South Windsor Smiles (South Windsor): November 2 from 5-7 p.m.

Find a location here.

A single dentist office, Kool Smiles, located at 1888 Main St. in Hartford, is also having a candy buy back event, but it’s separate from the state’s.

Like the CSDA program, it is working with Operation Gratitude to send candy overseas to troops. However, Kool Smiles’ deal is that for ever 25 pieces of unopened candy a child donates, he or she will receive a toy (up to three toys per child). This is open to everyone, not just patients.

Kool Smiles is also donating the funds to cover the assembly and shipment costs for 200 Operation Gratitude care packages, and will donate dental kits to include as well.

“Operation Troop Treats is our way of encouraging kids and their parents to maintain good dental health this Halloween while providing an opportunity to give back to our brave U.S. soldiers serving overseas,” said Kool Smiles managing dental director Dr. Polly Boehnlein. “We don’t want to take the fun out of trick-or-treating, just the cavities!”

To learn more about Operation Gratitude, click here.