Austin dentist office’s candy buyback was a sweet deal

Published 6:45 pm Saturday, November 10, 2012

Staff at the Elrod, Green and Hyland dental office, including Dr. Green, far left, and Dr. Hyland, far right, stand next to the candy they collected after Halloween for Operation Gratitude. Kevin Coss/

Candy to be donated to troops

One local dentist office recently helped ensure deployed armed forces members didn’t miss out on the sweetest of all holidays.

Local patients of Austin’s Elrod, Green and Hyland DDS brought in more than 100 pounds of candy on the Thursday and Friday following Halloween, Nov. 1 and 2, as part of a candy buyback program to benefit the troops.

The candy will be given to the volunteer organization Operation Gratitude to be sent out.

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“They package it up with other things for care packages,” said Dr. Bobee Hyland, one of the dentists at the office.

While the program benefits members of the military who are serving overseas, it also cuts down on the local cavity count in children’s teeth. Plus, children received $1 for each pound of candy they brought in.

“I think it’s a win-win,” said Dr. Peter Green, another of the office’s dentists.

This is the first year the office participated in the program. Staff members regarded their trial run as a success.

“We hope to continue to do it,” Hyland said.

She added the program allowed children to participate in Halloween trick-or-treating without having to later throw away their excess candy, as some people do in the months following the holiday.

While children led the effort, adults also stopped by the dentists’ office simply to donate candy, and they did not ask for money in return.

As as last step before sending the candy out, the office needs to sort the chocolate treats out from the rest. Chocolate is liable to melt in hotter climates, especially if left out in the desert sun, so Operation Gratitude now requires they be kept separate.

The office decided to take part in the program after seeing a national news story about it.

Green said the office’s location on a main thoroughfare in town made it easy for people to stop by and drop off their contribution. He expressed his appreciate for all who took part.

“Thanks to the community for supporting the troops,” he said.