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Orthodontist buys back candy for charity, troops
MARYSVILLE — Dr. Jason Bourne’s orthodontic practice was only a year old when he started buying back Halloween candy and he was impressed at receiving 120 pounds of candy from the community.
Last year was Bourne’s fourth year of collecting Halloween candy and he got more than 700 pounds, much of it from people who weren’t even patients.
“We have little brothers and sisters of former patients who bring in their candy, but we also have folks who drive all the way from Lynnwood and Mount Vernon with their kids,” Bourne said. “I know they must have orthodontists closer to where they are.”
Part of the reason why Bourne started the Halloween candy buy-back was to save trick-or-treaters from tooth decay and damage to their braces, but the families who pitch in also get to benefit their local community and American military members overseas.
Bourne pays $4 per pound of candy, $2 to the child who donates the candy, and the other $2 to the local Boys and Girls Club and YMCA. In recent years, Bourne has teamed up with Arlington native Mary Welsh to send that candy to troops serving in Iraq.
“A lot of stories have been run on radio and TV about this over the years,” Bourne said. “A lot of folks think it’s worth driving the extra miles to help out these groups. Mary’s involvement has been phenomenal. Before, I used to give the candy to the local food bank, which they weren’t exactly thrilled with, but Mary sorts out the perishable candy and sends the rest to Iraq. The first couple of years, she was paying to ship it herself, until the amount of candy got to be too much. I pay the shipping bill now.”
Bourne noted that some candy is safe for orthodontic patients, such as plain chocolate and soft, chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, as long as patients brush and floss thoroughly. However, he warned that children with braces should avoid caramel and taffy, hard candy, bubble gum, hard pretzels, peanuts, taco chips and unpopped kernels of popcorn.
Bourne will be accepting Halloween candy at his Marysville office, in Suite 3 of 815 State Ave., on Nov. 3, 5, 11 and 13. For more information, call 360-659-0211.