By Lisa Capobianco
Besides participating in a Veteran’s Day celebration last week, students at Kelley Elementary School worked together to create a candy care package for three local platoons serving in Afghanistan.
With the help and support of faculty and staff, students Colton and Analeigh Thorpe spread the word about their uncle’s deployment overseas to collect boxes of leftover Halloween candy as a surprise through morning announcements and memos.
Colton, a third grader, along with his sister Analeigh, a first grader, said they wanted to show their uncle and 120 other servicemen appreciation for their duty.
“People in the army do not get Halloween or candy,” they said.
Between November 1 and November 8, students piled at least several boxes with sweet treats. Jillian Thorpe, Colton and Analeigh’s mother, helped her children organize the project, delivering the care packages once the drive finished.
“I like to give kids moments where we can celebrate the good things we do,” Jillian said. “It is amazing how everyone pulls together and supports one another.”
Jillian’s brother, Thurman Musshorn, also known as “Uncle TJ,” serves as a specialist for the 344th Military Police Company. She said TJ left for Afghanistan this past April, and is expected to return next February.
“I was just amazed,” said Principal Marilyn Kahl, who watched the progress of the ever-growing boxes of candy. “It has been a huge success. I am so proud of how our students are helping our troops.”
Other youngsters throughout the school district also participated in “The Halloween Candy Buy Back” drive, held by The Southington Dental Associates (SDA). SDA bought each pound of candy for $1, and all the sweet treats will be donated to the American Legion of Southington and Kiltonic Post 72 to be forwarded to the troops. From November 1 to November 7, SDA collected up to 100 pounds of candy.
Sue Lockery, the practice manager of SDA, said children from town donated their candy with smiles on their faces, and one family even donated 14 pounds of candy. Some families participated in the cause without even accepting the money.
“We loved doing it,” Lockery said. “It is worthwhile.”