In Fayetteville orthodontist Joe Catania’s office, trick or treat begins the day after Halloween, when his haunted office holds its cash-for-candy program November 1-10. They pay kids in the community, not just patients, a dollar a pound for the stuff that might otherwise muck up their braces.
"The response if fantastic, said Dr. Catania. "The kids love it. They get excited. They're very happy to turn the candy in. We have a scale in the back with a witches cauldron. They dump it on the scale, then we dump it into the cauldron. The we collect it and box it up. The kids feel good, not only earning a little money themselves, but they also know they're helping a good cause."
Catania's office donates the candy to Rescue Missions and food pantries to include in their holiday packages. Catania says the office also matches the total dollars paid out to kids with a check to a local charity. He says the candy collection has averaged from 200 to 400 pounds each year.
"This year we picked the Golisano Children's Hospital, so we'll be making a nice to donation to the hospital for the kids," said Catania.
Catania says the project is not protecting some kids’ teeth while harming others’ because the candy ends up handed out in small amounts. He says a few little treats now and then don’t hurt, and do make people smile.