By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Local dentist buys back Halloween candy to send to troops overseas
Local dentist Dr. Varani and his team members put together goodie bags for their candy exchange to help prevent cavities and to send candy to the troops overseas. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal
Every Halloween, dentists dread the amount of candy that each child will get going door-to-door dressed as a princess or ninja turtle. Since the beginning of time, dentists have told everyone that candy causes cavities and to stay away from the tasty treats for the sake of their teeth.  
To help keep good oral health within the community of Turlock, local dentist Antoine Varani has started a program to collect candy gathered by trick-or-treating and send it to the troops. His office will be accepting un-opened candy from the community the week after Halloween — from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6. The un-opened candy will then be sent to the troops in Iraq.
“Halloween is the worst time for dentists because we don’t want the children eating candy,” said Anokeen Varani, office manager of Dr. Varani’s office.  “This is a great way to do something small for the community and the troops.”  
This is the first year Varani’s office will be doing this program and they plan on making it an annual event.    
Each person that brings in candy will receive a gift bag, Anokeen said. In the gift bag will be a toothbrush, toothpaste, a gift certificate for John’s Incredible Pizza and a gift certificate for McDonald’s. So far, they have prepared 250 gift bags for the community.    
Varani’s office will stop accepting candy at 1 p.m. on Nov. 6. On that day, at 11 a.m., they will be weighing the candy along with Mayor John Lazar and local soldiers. The candy will be shipped that following Saturday. Varani’s office is paying for all the shipping and the gift bags.  
“We are not trying to make a profit,” Anokeen said. “We are doing it for the community.”  
What makes this program so special is that it helps the community and gives back to the troops, she said.
“It is a great way to appreciate the soldiers and to help the community with oral health,” Anokeen said. “We aren’t going to do anything with the candy from the children so we might as well send it to the troops. We want to bring some home traditions to them, especially since they probably aren’t celebrating Halloween in Iraq.”  
Varani’s office is located at 800 Delbon Ave. in Turlock. For more information about this program, call 667-8874.  
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.