Several Wood County dentists are hoping area children value dollars in their hands more than Halloween
candy in their mouths.
In Bowling Green, Drs. Jeffrey Kaiser and John Strawman, as well as Dr. Frank Pace, are joining a
national organization, Operation Gratitude, to promote a Halloween candy buy-back on Nov. 2 with the
candy being donated to American troops overseas.
Dr. Christopher Clark, whose dental office is in Perrysburg, is also joining the effort. (Photo: File
photo. Downtown BG Halloween. 10-25-07 (Aaron Carpenter/Sentinel-Tribune))
Operation Gratitude is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in California which has sent over
464,000 goodie boxes to American soldiers serving in combat zones and aboard ship. Among its different
programs is encouraging dentists to buy back children’s candy at Halloween. The candy is shipped to
Operation Gratitude’s headquarters, where it is put in boxes sent to soldiers serving in the military,
along with hygiene products, snacks, entertainment items and cards or letters of encouragement.
The dentists are offering $1 per pound of candy which children bring in, but each office has its own
stamp on what the buy-back entails.
Clark’s offer is limited to 10 pounds per person, and the first 1,000 pounds received. He is giving out
free toothbrushes, along with prizes for children and adults.
The buy-back, open to anyone in the community, is from 4 to 6 p.m. at 28321 Kensington Lane. For more
information, the office’s number is (419) 874-3333.
The office of Strawman and Kaiser is giving participating children toothbrushes and goodie bags.
"We have actually gotten a lot of donations from local businesses, like kids’ meal coupons, bowling
alley coupons," said Kaiser. The prizes may be given away through a raffle system. "We
probably have enough prizes for over 100," he said.
Their buy-back is from 5 to 7 p.m. in the office at 1064 West Wooster St. The number is (419) 352-4661.
Kaiser saw information on the Halloween candy buy-back last year in a dental journal. "It’s a great
idea," he said.
Both Kaiser and his wife, Kristin, are dentists, with her practice in North Baltimore. Each Halloween
they give out candy, as well as a new toothbrush and toothpaste.
He has heard children remark, "Darn it! I got a toothbrush and toothpaste," or "They gave
us a toothbrush?"
"Parents love it," he added.
The office is not putting a pound limit on the candy brought in. "Whether we get 20 pounds from one
kid or 20 kids bringing in one pound, it all eats the same by the troops," said Kaiser.
Pace’s office will hold its buy-back from 4 to 6 p.m. The office is located at 1221 Ridgewood Drive, and
its number is (419) 352-2593. Goodie bags given out to children who participate will include a special
sucker – one that was developed to prevent cavities.
For more information on the national program for the troops, visit www.opgratitude.org.