Sprague Elementary School

Thank YOU for a Sweet 12th Annual Candy Drive: Event Highlights

November 18th, 2019

Just because Halloween is over, doesn’t mean the sweetness has to end! The past couple of weeks, we hosted our 12th Annual Candy Drive at Wellesley Dental Group-- the largest one in size and scope to date! This year we had a record number of 17,000 students across 52 schools and 15 towns in the MetroWest and Greater Boston area participate. Together, our community collected 13,237 pounds of Halloween candy-- beating the 2018 all-time high of 12,000 pounds! That's about 6,500 pounds of sugar. This candy is assembled into care packages for the US troops overseas with the help CarePacks, a local non-profit organization. The candy, along with sweet handwritten cards and oral hygiene supplies, will be sure to put a smile on the faces of the troops -- just in time for the approaching holiday season. We could not have done this without YOU!

In celebration of the annual initiative, we had our community and press event on November 8th. The chilly November weather didn’t stop members of the community from coming together to celebrate the monumental candy collection. The crowd enjoyed performances from Evan Lariviere and the Wellesley High School Keynotes, led by Dr. Kevin McDonald. Rick Bruce from CarePacks and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Peterson from the Wellesley Fire Department also shared a few words thanking participants for their generosity towards our servicepeople. Also in attendance were representatives from the 51st Command Troop, West Suburban Veterans’ District, U.S. Coastguard and Wellesley Police Department, not to mention all the local students of all ages!

During the event, the grand prize of $1000 was awarded to Hardy Elementary School in Wellesley for raising the greatest amount of candy by weight per student. In second place was Fiske Elementary in Wellesley and in third place was Willard Elementary in Concord.

Every year, this candy drive draws the community together, and we unite over the generosity of our children, as they give up their prized Halloween candy to help our servicepeople enjoy a sweet taste from home.

We are grateful for all of the participants and organizations who made this event possible, Take a look at this years participating schools and organizations:

Babson College

Bates School

Beaver Country Day School

Bowen Elementary

Broadmeadow School

Cabot Elementary

Charles River School

Chickering School

Claypit Hill Elementary

Council on Aging

Dana Hall Middle School

Dedham Country Day

Deerfield Elementary School

Dover-Sherborn Middle School

Downey School

Elizabeth Seton Residence

Fiske School

Greenlodge Elementary Student

Hanlon School

Happy Hollow School

Hardy Elementary

Haynes Elementary

Heath School

High Rock School

Hills and Falls Nursery School

Hunnewell Elementary

John Eliot School

Kennedy Middle School

Liberty School

Loker Elementary

Magic Beans

Marillac Residence

Martha Jones School

Mason-Rice Elementary School

Memorial School

Noble and Greenough School

Parker Elementary

Potter Road School

Preschool at Wellesley Schools

Schofield Elementary School

Sheehan School

Sprague Elementary School

Tenacre Country Day School

Thayer Academy Middle School

The Tobin Family of Schools

Thurston Middle School

Upham Elementary

Waterstone at Wellesley

Wellesley College Pre-Dental Society

Wellesley High School

Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club

Wellesley Middle School

Wellesley Mothers Forum

Westwood High School

Westwood Integrated Preschool

Willard Elementary School

Williams Elementary

Wilmington Youth Soccer

Wilson Middle School

Wrentham Elementary

For any questions or more information about the Wellesley Dental Group, please contact (781) 237-9071 or email candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com. Stay up to date with the Wellesley Dental Group by following @WellesleyDental on Twitter,  LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.


News Flash: #CandyDrive2015 in the Media!

November 16th, 2015

[caption id="attachment_9197" align="alignleft" width="502"]Wellesley Dental Group team picture! Wellesley Dental Group team picture![/caption]

What an exciting November it's been at the Wellesley Dental Group. This year brought our biggest and best Candy Drive yet! With participation from over 30 schools from across the Metro-West, and more than 9,000 students involved, the spirit of community giving and patriotism was in the air. Not to mention, our 8th Annual Candy Drive stirred up a lot of amazing press coverage. We cannot thank you and the community enough for all of the support and donations of candy and handwritten notes for the troops. A special thank you to Wellesley Public MediaWestwood Hometown WeeklyThe Swellesley Report, Wellesley Weston Magazine, and The Wellesley Townsman for featuring our Candy Drive in their publications. We can't wait to see what next year's drive has in store for us.

Check out #CandyDrive2015 in the news:

Wellesley Public Media captured our lovely Dr. Zarah Ali showcasing the highlights of the 2015 Candy Drive.


Westwood Hometown Weekly: Westwood Girl Scout Fundraiser Helps Overseas Troops

[caption id="attachment_9248" align="alignleft" width="430"]Photos courtesy of Chandana Gopal. Photo courtesy of Chandana Gopal.[/caption]

The fourth grade Girl Scout Troop 75364 at Downey School in Westwood ran a Halloween Candy Drive to collect candy to be packaged in Care Packs for troops stationed abroad.

The Downey community has participated in this event run by Wellesley Dental Group for the last four years.

This year, the Girl Scouts took in their biggest collection yet, and collected more than 200 pounds of candy, which equates to almost one pound per child at Downey.


Hometown Weekly: Candy Collected For U.S. Armed Forces At Wellesley Event

[caption id="attachment_9252" align="alignleft" width="430"]The Upham Elementary School in Wellesley and the Delaney Elementary School in Wrentham shared the $1,000 prize for their PTOs. (Photos courtesy of Femina Ali) The Upham Elementary School in Wellesley and the Delaney Elementary School in Wrentham shared the $1,000 prize for their PTOs.[/caption]

In what has become an annual tradition, Drs. Femina, Ejaz and Zarah Ali of the Wellesley Dental Group recently held a candy drive that raised nearly 8,000 pounds of candy for members of the U.S. armed forces serving our country overseas.

The candy is delivered to Care Packs, a nonprofit organization that creates and ships individual packages full of candy, handwritten notes, oral hygiene supplies and other treats and essentials from home for the troops overseas.

The week-long collection, which receives support and participation from several schools, including all the Wellesley Public Schools, and other organizations culminated last week in a big celebration that had approximately 100 people join in, including Superintendent David Lussier, Ellen Gibbs from the Board of Selectmen, MSG Trevor George and local veteran Pete Jones. Thirty-one schools from 13 towns participated in the collection.

“Our favorite part was to see the community come together in the spirit of giving and gratitude,” Femina Ali said. “It’s truly inspiring to see how much candy our kids willingly donate, and reading their handwritten notes and cards really strikes a chord. It’s a wonderful thing to see right before Veterans Day.”

Also attending the big celebration were members of the Wellesley Police Department and many of the school principals. Wellesley High’s Keynotes performed and elementary school student Evan Lariviere sang the National Anthem.

The Upham Elementary School shared the $1,000 grand prize that will go to its PTO with Delaney Elementary in Wrentham.

“We definitely raised more candy this year than last year, and than ever before, but the real accomplishment was the scope of the event,” Femina Ali said. “We’ve never had such widespread participation from the surrounding communities, and we reached as far as Wrentham and Braintree this year.”


Wellesley Weston Blog: Wellesley Dental Group’s 8th Annual Community Candy Drive

All Metro-West Schools are invited to join Wellesley Dental Group’s 8th Annual Community Candy Drive to benefit the U.S. troops serving overseas. From November 1st to November 5th, our office will be collecting candy, as well as handwritten notes and cards, to be sent to American servicemen via non-profit organization CarePacks, along with oral hygiene supplies.

This year, the competition is bigger than ever! We will be awarding a grand prize of $1,000 to the school PTO that donates the most candy! The winning school will be selected based on the amount of candy donated divided by the number of students in the school, to ensure fair competition.

The Candy Drive is open to any school or institute that is interested in participating in this cause. We also invites schools and organizations to be a part of our Press Event on November 5th at 10:00 am, at our office on 5 Seaward Road in Wellesley. Principals, faculty members, parents, and students (with the permission of their parents and teachers) are welcome to attend. Local institutions, media and photographers are also invited to participate. RSVP is requested.

To schedule a candy drop-off, please call 781-237-9071 or email the Wellesley Dental Group at candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com. Our goal is to teach our kids lessons in giving by encouraging them to share their extra Halloween candy with our troops overseas. These sweet treats and the handwritten cards are a reminder of home for these soldiers, and a reflection of our gratitude. To check out awesome photos and more information regarding last year’s event, click here. Let’s keep this fun tradition going!


The Swellesley Report: Wellesley Dental Group has sweetened the pot for annual post-Halloween candy collection

Ready to get rid of all that candy? Join Wellesley Dental Group’s 8th Annual Community Candy Drive to benefit the U.S. troops serving overseas. From November 1st to November 5th, the office will be collecting candy, as well as handwritten notes and cards, to be sent to American servicemen via non-profit organization CarePacks, along with oral hygiene supplies.

This year, the office will award a grand prize of $1000 to the school PTO that donates the most candy. The winning school will be selected based on the amount of candy donated divided by the number of students in the school, to ensure fair competition. The Candy Drive is open to any school or institute that is interested in participating in this cause.

To schedule a candy drop-off, please call 781-237-9071 or email the Wellesley Dental Group at candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com. If your child attends a Wellesley public school, check with the office. Many of the schools are collecting candy and will bring it all in a big pile to the drop-off point.


The Wellesley Townsman: Wellesley's candy mountain: Each year at Halloween, it grows outside a local dental office

[caption id="attachment_9196" align="alignleft" width="319"]One of the many handwritten cards from local elementary school students One of the many handwritten cards from local elementary school students[/caption]

It may seem a little ironic for a dental office to be collecting candy, but for the eighth year in a row Wellesley Dental Group sponsored their Annual Community Candy Drive. Outside their 5 Seaward Road offices on the morning of Nov. 5 stood a huge candy mountain.

It wasn’t just the Wellesley school community that donated. More than 9,000 students participated this year, not including colleges. From Nov. 1-5, students from 30 schools in 13 towns brought their extra Halloween candy to Wellesley Dental Group for the benefit of U.S. troops serving overseas. The students also wrote letters and cards to accompany the candy that will be sent along with oral hygiene supplies.

“It’s become a community event. I love it,” said Dr. Femina Ali, who added that this year’s candy drive was definitely bigger than last year’s.

“It just gets bigger and bigger every year … she [Dr. Ali] puts her heart and soul into it,” said Wellesley resident Mary Bowers who attended the donation celebration.

According to Dr. Femina Ali, however, it was her daughter, Dr. Zarah Ali, also a dentist at Wellesley Dental Group, spearheaded this year’s event.

“It’s definitely a team effort,” said Dr. Zarah Ali. In estimating the amount of candy students dropped off this year, she said, “I know we have more than 7,000 pounds. I would guess 9,000.”

With a promise of $1,000 to the PTO of the school that donated the most candy, participation was robust. As it turned out there was a tie: Upham Elementary School in Wellesley and the Delaney Elementary School of Wrentham shared the prize money.

Dr. Zarahi Ali said they determined the winning schools by taking the amount of candy donated and dividing it by the number of students – to the 10th of a pound.

Megan Fennell was there with fellow students from the Kennedy Middle School in Natick. She said she wanted to participate because “I thought it would be an experience, and we wrote letters for the soldiers that we’re giving the candy to.” Her school collected 586 pounds of sweet treats.

Superintendent of Wellesley Public Schools David Lussier attended the event and was proud not only of his schools’ participation but also of the Wellesley students who performed for the crowd – Evan Lariviere, a third-grader from the Upham School, and the Wellesley High School Keynote Singers, who all demonstrated their vocal talents.

Rick Bruce of CarePacks was on hand with a truck to take the candy to the non-profit organization’s warehouse in Weymouth. He said the drive is “a great community event.”

After the candy gets packed into sandwich-size bags Bruce said, “We’ll get two or three shipments out of this.”

Also, don't forget to like us on Facebook to view pictures and more from the event!

Post Candy Drive:

We received a thank you note from one of our soldiers to a Sprague Elementary School student who participated in our candy drive. Read more here in this article written by The Swellesley Report:









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