NEW PRAGUE, Minn. — After this year’s trick-or-treating festivities, nearly 2,000 area elementary students set aside a portion of their candy for deployed American troops. As part of the fourth annual Great Halloween Candy Give Back, students gathered 2,102 pounds of treats to donate. Volunteers spent 14 hours sorting and boxing candy to be shipped to U.S. troops stationed overseas in conjunction with Operation Gratitude, which annually sends more than 100,000 care packages to U.S. service members and their families.
“The Great Halloween Candy Give Back helps to share memories of home with our troops. It brightens their day, and they often share candy with local children to build relationships,” says Kris Tietz, regional director of volunteer services at Mayo Clinic Health System. “It’s very rewarding to see a community come together to give back to such a worthwhile cause.”
Sponsors and partners of the initiative include Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague; The Fitness Center; New Prague Public Schools; St. Wenceslaus School; Main Street Dental; Dr. Doug Vayda, Orthodontic Specialist; New Prague Chamber of Commerce; New Prague Fire Department; and New Prague Rotary Club.
Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other facilities that serve the health care needs of people in more than 60 communities in Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest-quality health care close to home.