The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

LifeSmiles buys Halloween candy, saves smiles


October 25, 2017


With its annual candy buyback event, LifeSmiles of Sidney is both creating and saving smiles.

The event, in its ninth year, buys back candy by the pound from children after Halloween

"We invite children to bring their candy after Halloween to trade it to us for money and prizes," Leasa Dornbier, owner/dentist, said. "We'll give them $1 per pound up to five pounds of candy for kids ages 2 to 12, and then they are entered into a drawing for different prizes."

Dornbier was inspired to bring the nationwide Halloween Candy Buyback effort to Sidney more than nine years ago.

It has since been met with great success.

"We usually collect around 200 pounds of candy per year," she said.

The candy is collected and then shipped to Operation Gratitude.

"They put it in care packages to send to the troops who are overseas," Dornbier said.

The event also promotes healthy choices.

"It's not good for you. Candy causes cavities and has lots of sugar in it," Dornbier said. "We like to support healthier snack choices."

Children have been more than willing to bring in their candy.

"They're pretty willing to trade it," Dornbier said. "The kids bring anywhere from one pound to five pounds. They only get $5, but we've had kids bring in candy in pillow cases."

Parents, too, are appreciative.

"They tell us thank you for doing this and we have a lot of kids who come ever year," Dornbier said.

LifeSmiles enjoys holding the event for Sidney's families.

"We enjoy giving parents the ability to get some candy out of the house they might not want hanging around, and rewarding the kids for making healthy choices," Dornbier said.

The candy buyback is supported by local businesses, through donations and services, Dornbier said, including USPS, which provides shipping to Operation Gratitude, and Sidney Regional Medical Center, Western Nebraska Endodontics, and Hoppens orthodontics, which contributed to the prizes being offered.

Dornbier does not expect participation this year to be any different from previous years.

"We've been doing it enough years that most families plan on it, and we always welcome new families to bring candy, too," she said.

LifeSmiles' Halloween candy buyback will be held Nov. 1, from 8 to 4 p.m., at 1040 Old Post Road.

"They can bring the candy in. We will weigh it. Hand out their prizes and money and entered them into the prizes," Dornbier said. "We usually call them the next day if they are a winner."


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