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Students donate candy to soldiers

by JULIE MARTIN jmartin@indianagazette.net on November 17, 2013 1:50 AM

SPRING CHURCH — Halloween may already seem like a memory, but Apollo-Ridge Elementary School still has some treats to pass out.

Students donated some of their Halloween haul once again to the school’s Operation Candy Drop, which then sends the treats to U.S. soldiers.

“We always get a great outpouring of candy,” said Jeneane Kehew, who teaches first grade. She, along with physical education teacher Brandon Allison, have headed up the effort for several years.

The annual operation encourages students to bring in their extra Halloween candy so it can be sent to troops both in the U.S. and overseas.

In exchange, students get a healthy snack.

This year, snacks were donated by the school’s PTA and Townsend Brothers Fruit Farm.

“You’re feeling good about donating, and you’re feeling good about being healthier,” Kehew said.

Students have something else to feel good about this time around — raising enough money to cover the costs of shipping more than 50 boxes of candy.

Spurred on, perhaps, by the incentive of a homework pass for classes that raised the most during the operation’s Pumpkin War fundraiser, students answered the call of duty, raising twice what was needed for shipping costs.

“I think the competitive nature came out in them,” Kehew said. “We raised over $1,200, and it was wonderful.”

Packages will be sent out this week. The remaining money will be saved for next year’s mission.

Because the fundraising effort was so successful, all the school’s students were rewarded with a homework pass.

The soldiers on the receiving end often reach out to show their gratitude.

In the past, Kehew said, Apollo-Ridge has received American flags, greeting cards, phone calls and even a video recording from a soldier who just wanted to say “thank you.”

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