xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement
Jenna Handwerger, 7, left, and her sister Lily Handwerger, 10, hand their leftover Halloween candy to dentist Julia Burchett as her son Carter Burchett and dentist Rania Khoury look on at Freedom Dental Care in Eldersburg Saturday, Nov. 1. Children were able to exchange their leftover Halloween candy for a toy at the office Saturday.
Jenna Handwerger, 7, left, and her sister Lily Handwerger, 10, hand their leftover Halloween candy to dentist Julia Burchett as her son Carter Burchett and dentist Rania Khoury look on at Freedom Dental Care in Eldersburg Saturday, Nov. 1. Children were able to exchange their leftover Halloween candy for a toy at the office Saturday. (DAVE MUNCHSTAFF PHOTO, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Friday night, Lucy Tzan, 4, went from house to house in Sykesville as Elsa the "Frozen" snow queen collecting candy. Saturday, she took her candy and "Let It Go" at Freedom Dental Care in Eldersburg in exchange for a new toy.

Lucy, as well as her sister, Maya, were participating in the national Halloween Candy Buyback program, first established in 2005. In the program, dental offices exchange children's Halloween candy for money or toys and send the excess sweets to soldiers overseas as part of Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to U.S. military members stationed abroad.

Advertisement

Dentist Julia Burchett said the program is a great way to discourage the mindless sugar snacking that often occurs in the post-Halloween season. Burchett's two sons, Carter, 6, and Jackson, 4, each donated their entire candy hauls to the program.

"We're dentists, and we don't like candy as much," Burchett said. "We give kids an option, so they don't have all of that candy sitting around, and they're not tempted to eat it."

Advertisement

Burchett said most dentist offices offer money in exchange for the candy, but she thought children would be more excited about getting a new toy in exchange. Prizes included Barbies, Transformers, toy cars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, posters, stuffed bears and DVDs.

There was no minimum amount of candy that could be exchanged for a toy, with some bringing in a half-pound's worth of treats and others dropping off 4 full pounds.

Lucy struggled for a while deciding which toy she wanted in exchange for her bag of treats, eventually settling on a Sofia the First play set. Maya chose a pin point impression toy, as their mother, Mandy Tzan, showed her how to create an impression of her face.

Tzan said that she read about the program on Facebook and discussed the idea with her two daughters before deciding to come out.

"We all had to think about it for a while," Tzan said. "They weren't sure at first if this was a good deal, but we eventually settled on helping people out."

Burchett said that last year the office was able to collect more than 40 pounds of candy to ship overseas, a number she hoped to match this year.

Following the Tzans came 5-year-old Emily Mussaw, of Eldersburg, who traded her candy for a Princess Twilight Sparkle "My Little Pony" toy. Emily too had dressed up as Elsa for Halloween and said she was very excited to trade out her extra candy for a toy.

Fellow trick-or-treat-traders Lily, 10, and Jenna, 7, Handwerger said they ended up giving away more candy than they kept, though Lily said she kept an eye out for chocolate candies to keep for herself.

In addition to the toys, the office also handed out raffle tickets based on the number of pounds of candy donated. For each pound of candy, a child received a ticket to win a Nintendo DS or Amazon Kindle.

According to the National Halloween Candy Buyback website Mount Airy Children's Dental Associates and Premier Dental Care in Manchester are also participating in the program. For more information on each office's times, visit http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com.

Reach staff writer Jacob deNobel at 410-857-7890 or jacob.denobel@carrollcountytimes.com.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement