OPERATION CASH FOR CANDY NEWS RELEASE -- Several Tri-City regional health professionals and businesses have joined together to do the unthinkable – take candy away from kids! This Halloween, trick-or-treaters can sell their excess candy for $1 per pound. “The candy will then be sent to the troops to say thank you and to support the noble cause of freedom” says event organizer Dr. Lee Ostler. “The children can also sign up to win prizes and sign thank you cards that go with the candy to the troops. Children can still have fun with Halloween but now they can put some money in their piggy banks as well as say thanks to the troops, says Ostler.”
Dr. Ostler has teamed up with a local veterans group who run the “Operation Thank You” program, which accepts donations including candy from dentists, to send to the troops overseas. Ostler invited several offices and businesses in our region thinking that if it was good for his patients, it would be better to involve the entire Tri-City community and help more kids participate in saying thanks and hearing a message about their health
Dr. Ostler notes that with the amount of tooth decay and the rising costs of healthcare related to childhood obesity and excess sugar consumption it is a good idea to get more candy off the streets and out of the hands of children. Mindi Irvine, a physical therapist says it’s better to get this excess candy out of the hands and mouths of our children because “too much sugar in the diet can lead to a long list of health problems, including being overweight, inactivity and insulin resistance.”
Numerica Credit Union believes that while kids will be kids when it comes to candy, they find that a lot of these children really get into the idea of supporting a cause like this and getting money for it. Numerica representative Jeanette Radmer says that “while kids have fun trick-or-treating, we want to help parents that want to limit the amount of damage that can be done to their children’s teeth and health. This is a fun way to do it and to encourage preventive care,” says Ms Radmer.
Dr. Ryan Wieseler a Hermiston dentist also notes that this project sends a healthy message that too much candy isn’t healthy, and that candy should be consumed in moderation and with some protection against tooth decay. Habits of brushing and flossing and limiting sugar consumption need equal attention at home and from health professionals.
Dr. Tyson Teeples a local physician and oral surgeon notes that it isn’t just about tooth decay. “Too much sugar leads to hyperactivity, weight gain and diabetes, in addition to the damage to teeth. Global sugar consumption for kids increases by about 2% annually and currently sits at 50 million tons per year, which means parents need to be sure their kids teeth are being cared for more than ever.”
The Cash-for-Candy idea is a big hit with local area veterans who already understand the power of getting these care packages, plus they say that the donated candy is put to good use in developing relationship with the “locals”. Drs. Rolf Weurch and Michael Brier are former military and say they are thrilled to be able to participate and to be able to help the kids and the troops. Other local veterans are also excited to see this kind of project in our community. “When I was in Iraq I really liked it when we received letters and care packages from people back home. I think that “Operation Cash for Candy” is a wonderful idea and I know all that all the troops will really appreciate it,” says Purple Heart recipient Bobby Touchette of Prosser who served in Iraq from 2003-2006.
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