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Orthodontist buys back Halloween 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 fifth year of collecting Halloween candy, and he got more than 735 pounds.
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. Last year, he donated more than $1,450 to the two organizations. Bourne has also teamed up with Arlington native Mary Welsh to send that candy to troops serving in Iraq.
"Mary's involvement has been phenomenal," Bourne said. "Mary sorts out the perishable candy and sends the rest to Iraq. 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.
While the days immediately following Halloween are often an orthodontist's busiest time of the year, Bourne noted that such days have also become marked by remarkable generosity from trick-or-treaters and their families.
"A few families started saying that they didn't want any money, just that they wanted me to send as much as I would have to charity, so I was able to send their money, too," Bourne said.
Bourne will be accepting Halloween candy at his Marysville office, in Suite 3 of 815 State Ave., on Nov. 3, 5, 9 and 11. For more information, call 360-659-0211 or log onto www.bourneorthodontics.com.