MONTVILLE, NJ - At Cedar Hill Elementary School in Towaco Trick or Treat for Operation Candy yielded giant boxes of Halloween treats for United States Military personnel serving overseas.
A week before Halloween, the school’s 75 fifth grade students were asked to consider sharing their Halloween goodies with US Troops.
On Nov. 4, the students weighed their collection of candy and discovered they had gathered 190 pounds of sweets.
“I was really blown away b
y the amount of candy,” said Meghan Notte, the fifth grade teacher who coordinated the effort for Cedar Hill.
Notte introduced the project as an opportunity for the students to work together.
“They were offered recess points for every pound of candy collected by each class,” Notte explained.
Recess points can be traded in for extra break time throughout the school year.
The highest contributor to the candy operation was Zackary Waltsak, with 17 pounds of confections.
“It made me feel really good to give candy to the soldiers,” Waltsak said.
Students devised a variety of approaches for collecting candy for the troops.
Brooke Sandler assembled a team of eight second, third and fifth graders. Together they Trick or Treated for the military.
“I thought, ‘I always get a lot of candy,’” Sandler said. “I always have a lot left over, so I thought I would donate some.”
Caroline Motherway also donated several pounds of treats.
“I just did what I always do,” Motherway said of her Trick or Treating approach. “I go with friends to my old town of Montclair. I just collect as much as I can.”
The 75 Cedar Hill students also made cards for the soldiers.
“I think they will like the letters the best,” Sandler said. “They will make them feel good.”
Many of the Cedar Hill fifth graders said that participating in the project helped them appreciate the sacrifices soldiers make in helping to protect the United States.
“I hope they enjoy it because they don’t get to see their families or go Trick or Treating with them,” Waltsak added. “I think they will like the candy.”
After calculating the weight of the candy with her class, Notte delivered the items to Girl Scout Troop #224 at St. Therese School in Succasunna. The Scouts were collecting the candy as a pay it forward kindness in memory of Christopher D. The Scouts separated the items into chocolate and sugar candies, and shipped the treats off to Operation Shoebox for distribution overseas.