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Dutchess County’s Great Halloween Candy Exchange
Children can learn about good health and support US troops serving overseas

Published: 10/21/2014

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie…Attention Halloween Trick-or-Treaters!  Share some of your Halloween candy with United States Armed Forces troops serving overseas as part of the Great Halloween Candy Exchange and be rewarded with fun prizes of fitness and literacy.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced the Dutchess County Department of Health is again partnering with All Access Dental, All Sport Health and Fitness, The Children's Medical Group, Learning Insights and United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region for the 9th Annual Great Halloween Candy Exchange Program on Saturday, November 1st from 10am to 2pm at various locations throughout the county, along with one location in Ulster County.

"The Great Halloween Candy Exchange Program gives families a great way to promote important values of literacy, physical activity and sharing.    It also helps bring a little bit of home to our US troops serving overseas,” said County Executive Molinaro.  “So share the fun of Halloween by supporting our soldiers and be rewarded with good health and a love of reading."

The program is simple.   On the day after Halloween, children can donate a pound or more of Halloween trick-or-treat candy to be shipped to U.S. troops serving overseas.  For every pound of candy donated at one of the designated drop-off sites, children will receive a free, age-appropriate new book or a free fun pass. This year’s choices include: a general admission pass to a 2015 Hudson Valley Renegades game, a mini-golf pass to Overlook Golf and Recreation Center, a family skate pass to McCann Ice Arena, or a family fitness pass to All Sport Health and Fitness.

In 2013, over 2,000 pounds of candy were collected and shipped to troops serving overseas.   Children are encouraged to include a friendly letter to the soldiers with their candy donations.   Both the candy and the letters are welcome reminders of home for soldiers to let them know how much they are appreciated. Participants who bring a letter will be entered into a drawing to win one of the following prizes: a pass to Bounce, two free games at HoeBowl or two free passes to Jumpin Jakes in Fishkill.

Candy can be dropped off from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, November 1st at the following locations:

Fishkill All Sport Health and Fitness, 17 Old Main Street, Fishkill
Highland Learning Insights, 20 Milton Avenue, Highland
Hyde Park The Children's Medical Group, 4252 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park
Poughkeepsie The Children's Medical Group, 104 Fulton Avenue, Poughkeepsie

Joseph F. Heavy, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Medical Group stated, “The Children’s Medical Group is once again pleased to participate in this candy exchange.  It’s such a great way to have families participate in healthy activities such as reading with their children and fun physical alternatives to TV and video games.”

The Great Halloween Candy Exchange is a community project, organized by All Access Dental, All Sport Health and Fitness, The Children’s Medical Group, Dutchess County Health Department, Learning Insights and United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. These partners work together to plan this annual event. Sponsors include A & R Security, Bottini Fuel, Henry Schein Dental, Haddad Cleaning, Herb Redl Properties, Kiwanis Club of Poughkeepsie, Monfort Bros. Masonry, and Safeguard Printing Promotional & Apparel. All Sport Health and Fitness, The Hudson Valley Renegades, The McCann Ice Arena and Overlook Golf and Recreation Center generously donated family fun passes.

Please remember to exchange your candy on the day after Halloween. For more information, visit The Great Halloween Candy Exchange on Facebook.