Saturday, August 8, 2020
Hailey Dentist Pulls Off Sweet Deal with the Kids
Dr. Ryan Nielson is delighted that the sugar in this candy won’t contaminate the teeth of the young charges he cares for.
Friday, November 15, 2019


Dr. Ryan Nielson pulled off what some might consider a miracle.

The dentist enticed school kids at Alturas Elementary to give back 356 pounds of their Halloween candy to send to overseas troops.

Nielson’s dental office Valley Pediatric Dentistry, which is located at 317 S. River St. in Hailey, sponsored the first-ever Halloween candy “give back” contest at Alturas Elementary. When the kids had pooled the contents of their Halloween bags, they had a mountain of candy weighing in at 356 pounds.

Susan Snider’s class celebrated their winnings while taking part in pajama day at school.

“The kids benefit because they’re not exposing their teeth to so much candy. And the troops know we’re thinking of them back home,” said Nielson.

Kristin Cassalia’s first-grade class contributed the most candy to the effort among the kindergarten through second-grade classes. They won a pizza party and $150 to use in their classroom for their generosity.  Stephanie Snider’s third-grade class won a pizza party and $150 for outgiving the third- through fifth-grade classes.

The big candy giveaway contest had its roots in a candy buyback where Nielson’s dental office would offer to buy back kids’ candy at a dollar per pound.

But last year’s buyback met with a meager response. So, Nielsen decided to stage a contest at Alturas, where his children go to school. He partnered with Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that sends care packages to troops overseas.

Kristin Cassalia’s class is looking forward to their pizza party.

“It was surprising for the first year to see how much candy the kids did contribute,” he said. “One of the classes that won tallied 40 pounds of candy.”

When all was said and done, Nielsen had six bins of candy—so much that the candy had to be driven to Boise because it would have cost too much to send through the mail

He feels good about what the kids did.

“Most kids get more candy than is good for them. And they often eat candy they don’t even like just because it’s there.  This, I think is a great way to deal with that extra candy.”

This is what 356 pounds of candy looks like.




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