Donating that candy stash proves to be easy when it benefits U.S. troops serving overseas who could use a sweet treat from home. For the 13th year, Rotem Dental Care held its annual candy drive and buy-back program, rewarding children with a dollar a pound, up to 10 pounds, for their candy; and giving special prizes to the individual and club that donated the most candy.
Aidan Miller, age 10, Beachwood, won $50 for bringing in 17 pounds of candy, the most by weight. Aidan, a Cub Scout for four years, dressed as Voldemort from Harry Potter, went to two Trick or Treat events, and rode on the Scout float in the Toms River Parade.
When asked if it was difficult to give up his candy, Aidan said, “It wasn’t the hardest in the world when I heard it was going to the troops who can’t come home during the holidays.” Aidan added that he thanks all the soldiers for their efforts.
Students, ages 10 to 11, in the Herbertsville Elementary Early Act Club, Brick, brought in 165 pounds of candy to win the top prize of $400 for the second year in a row. Teachers Cherylan Shea and Debbie Osborne, said they will use the prize money to buy a “buddy bench” for the playground. The buddy bench helps eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground because it used by children who feel as though they need a friend or someone to talk to.
The 20-25 students in the Early Act Club meet once a month and participate in events, such as beach cleanups and community gardening.
Dr. Rotem said, “I have three children so I know how much that Halloween candy means. We all know that the less candy kids eat, the better it is for them. I started the candy buy-back program as an incentive for kids to donate some of their candy and at the same time make Halloween special for our overseas troops.”
Toms River High School North ROTC volunteers helped load 320 pounds of candy for American Recreational Military Service (ARMS) http://www.supportarms.org/.
For further information, call Rotem Dental Care at 732-341-8500.
Cover Photo Caption: Several Early Act Club winners – Natalie Johnson, Mrs. Debbie Osborn, Julianna Azzurello, Julia Mastromarino, Mrs. Cherylan Shea, Allyson Queen, Dylan Demarest