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Dunbar Elementary students share Halloween treats with overseas troops; 4th-grade class collects 127.2 pounds

| Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 12:46 a.m.
Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Andrea Washabaugh's fourth-grade class was the the winning homeroom for the Dunbar Borough Elementary School candy drive. From left are (front) Madison Bryner, Holly DeOre, and Lilly Horvath; (second row) Gabriel Lutz, Devin McKendry,Mayla Berrios, Austin Darnell, Brianna Wills, and Abigail Daerr; (back) Isabella Roebuck, Will Trimbath, Jacob Doss, Lauren Nedrow, Joey Kramer, Trevor Nicholson, Jaxon Roebuck, Riley Vokes, and Caiten Clay.

Dunbar Borough Elementary School students have been collecting candy and other snacks and treats that will be sent to troops overseas.

Started by school nurse Lori Richter, the drive was held throughout the building. All 220 students in kindergarten through sixth grade were invited to participate.

“At Halloween these kids get so much candy, and they were asked to donate some of what they got,” Richter said.

The school collected 424.4 pounds of candy and snacks.

“This drive deters them from eating it all — which could be unhealthy — and encourages them to honor our soldiers. The troops appreciate the candy and snacks because these are things that they can't get over there,” said Richter.

Students brought in such goodies as licorice, Tic Tacs, Slim Jims, gum and other candy and snacks that not chocolate-based.

“Anything of chocolate does not travel well, and it could also melt on its way over,” Richter said.

Some students brought in unopened bags of candy and bags of chips and other snacks.

“They did a really great job, and this was their first time doing this,” Richter said.

The collection started on Oct. 28 and ended Nov. 4.

The winning classroom — Andrea Washabaugh's fourth-grade class — will be treated to a movie and popcorn afternoon.

“Every day at the end of the day, we would announce who was winning and how much candy was collected,” Richter said. “It was fun for the kids, and it created a nice friendly competition for the kids.”

“I think they did a really great job,” said Washabaugh, whose students collected 127.2 pounds of candy and snacks. “They are also very proud of themselves.”

Richter said in addition to the candy and snacks that were collected by the students, several teachers and staff contributed monetary donations to help with the shipping costs. The packages will be put together by the members of Connellesville Area High School Patriots at its next packing event.

“I am delighted that young Patriots in some of our elementary schools give to help make our packages possible,” said Linda Shearer, Patriots club founder. “Every packages includes penny candy as filler, which is not only enjoyed by our troops, but by the children in orphanages. When so many children hoard their Halloween treats, I'm proud of this unselfish act of kindness.”

The students also enjoyed the opportunity to help veterans.

“They do so much to protect us, and this is just something little for us to do to help support them,” said student Isabella Roebuck, 9.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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