Turning a sweet profit

Charlotte dentist, kids send treats to troops overseas

by Erica Oglesby

Erica Oglesby/MIW photo Noah and Alex Wilk give their candy to Dr. Simita Warrier as part of the second annual Halloween Candy Buyback event at Warrier Family Dentistry.

CHARLOTTE – Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq will soon do a bit of post-Halloween trick-or-treating, thanks to a Charlotte dentist and selfless kids.

Warrier Family Dentistry, 16143 Lancaster Hwy., held its second annual Halloween Candy Buyback event Monday, Nov. 1, paying kids $1 in exchange for each pound of their Halloween evening haul.

For Dr. Simita Warrier, the event acts in part as a tooth-saving crusade – she knows this is the peak sugar-eating/cavity-causing season – but it’s also a big help for Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to troops around the world.

Operation Gratitude received more than a half-ton of candy last year from Warrier, which went with other donations to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those troops in turn take the candy they aren’t saving for themselves and give it to kids in the war-torn countries.

“I wanted to give my candy to the troops because they didn’t get to go trick-or-treating,” 9-year-old Amelia Marsh said while donating her share of sweets.

“And so it doesn’t rot your teeth,” Amelia’s 7-year-old sister, Makayla, added.

Together, the two kids gave 3 pounds of their hard-earned candy, only keeping a few treats for themselves. It’s acts like theirs that amaze the Warrier Family Dentistry staff.

“It has just been overwhelming the support we have gotten,” said Lori Biscardi, Warrier Family Dentistry office manager. “Everybody loves the event.”

Brothers James and Joseph Jury, ages 6 and 3, respectively, gave up 2 pounds of candy while also writing thank you notes for troops which will accompany the sweets. James tried to explain to Joseph the importance of what they were doing.

“I donated my candy because I knew (the troops) didn’t have a lot of food,” James said.

And what does he hope they do with the candy gifts?

“Eat it!” he exclaimed.

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