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Halloween candy buy back benefits children of Lincoln County and US troops overseas

Treat for treat is the offer a Brookhaven dentist is making to area children.

For the fourth year, Joey Sessums and her staff at Ole Brook Pediatric Dentistry are collecting bags of leftover Halloween candy, which they ship to Operation Gratitude in California. That organization ships the sweet goodies to troops overseas.

“There are two reasons why we do this,” said Sessums. “One is we like to support our troops that are fighting very hard battles overseas and two, we are trying to prevent dental decay.”

For every pound donated — up to five pounds — the child gets an entry in the jar for a new bike.

Each person who donates will get a coupon for a free Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

“Kids will still get a sweet treat, but with a Blizzard they can eat it and it’s done. The sugar is not sitting on their teeth as long as it is for eating candy for weeks after Halloween,” said Sessums.

The dental office will close from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday for the candy buy-back event.

There will be two tables set up — one for candy drop-off and one for the children to draw pictures to ship with the candy.

Sessums said she has seen over 1,000 pounds of candy collected at dental offices in larger cities.

Ole Brook had over 200 pounds of candy donated last year.

“Every year we’ve gotten more and more donations,” Sessums said. “It’s a fun time because we get to interact with our patients outside of the office and they are always excited about seeing how much it weights. Plus we try to encourage them on the reasons behind why we’re doing this.”