On Halloween, her pillowcase full of candy, Nicole Krevsky, 10, decided to call it quits on trick-or-treating at her Cheval neighborhood.
Tuesday night, remembering the horrors of candy overload from past Halloweens, her father, Dan Krevsky, drove Nicole and her friend Angelique Mevorah, 9, to the dentist office of Dr. Yen Nguyen in Lutz, who was paying $1 a pound for the treats in a candy buyback program aimed at warding off cavities and helping out a charity.
Nguyen in taking part in Operation Gratitude, which ships care packages to troops overseas.
Last year, the group said, more than 80 dentists across 27 states participated in the program, collecting about 24,000 pounds of candy.
"It's for such a good cause," said Nguyen, whose office collected more than 30 pounds of treats in three hours. "It also keeps kids from eating so much candy."
In addition, Nguyen raffled away an iPod, several Wii games and restaurant gift certificates.
Dr. Lesley Rudolph of Tampa, will be giving away toothbrushes and small prizes at her dental office on Thursday.
Dentists are finding that the chance to do something good is outweighing the promise of money or goodies.
Dr. Rodney Holcombe of New Tampa collected more than 200 pounds and hardly spent a dime.
"Most people wouldn't even take the money," said financial coordinator Angela Mawhir, whose brother-in-law is in the Air Force and has served overseas. "They just wanted to give it to the troops."
The cause was another reason Krevsy decided to have Nicole participate. Nicole, a McKitrick Elementary fourth-grader, refused the $4 for her stash, which she had picked through to set aside Hershey's, Reese's and Kit Kats for herself.
"I never eat it all anyway," she said, "and it's good to donate because they're fighting for us."