Diamond Creek Elementary School students know how to get the sweetest return on their Halloween candy.
Prompted by the school's student council, the student body collected 779 pounds of candy. They exchanged it all Thursday, raising $1,690 for the American Red Cross' Hurricane Sandy relief funds.
"I think it's wonderful. What kid wants to give up their candy?" said Liz Snyder, mom of Student Council President Zachary Snyder. "When it was presented by the student council, the kids said 'let's do this for the people in the hurricane.' The kids were so into it."
Just after Halloween, Image Orthodontics in Roseville, sponsored a candy buy back, offering $1 for every pound of candy exchanged. The office matched the amount turned in by the school.
"It's taught them giving up candy is an easy thing to do when they look at all the people they are going to be able to help by doing so," said Kim Triplett, who co-advises the student council with fellow teacher Cheryl McGee.
The school's student council is adept at fundraising and helping others. Each year, the students collect toys on campus for the Roseville Police Department's holiday toy drive and raise funds to assist the St. Vincent de Paul's food locker in the spring. They annually support Pennies for Patients, of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
"We are philanthropic," said Triplett. "We don't raise money for ourselves."
Triplett said the students learned a lot from the candy fundraiser because they were making an immediate difference by giving up something they wanted.
"Our goal is to find things we can do to help other people and this is a perfect example," she said. "They wanted to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. And we were able to do it. We just rolled it out."
For Snyder and the kids, seeing all of the collected candy was especially memorable.
"We probably had 10 boxes -- almost 80 pounds of candy a piece," Snyder said. "It didn’t look like a lot but when you had to pick one up. It was crazy."
Nine-year-old Nick Dominguez, a student council public relations officer, also liked seeing the end result.
"My favorite part was when we got to see all the candy that we donated," Dominguez said. "We can’t believe how much candy our school brought in."
Dominguez and his fellow PR cohort Jazlyn Kittle put "really big posters" across campus, distributed flyers and made a plea to every classroom.
Zachary Snyder, 10, said he was most proud of how his fellow students pulled together to help others, but admitted he also enjoyed being recognized by Channel 31's Good Day Sacramento . The student council appeared on the show Friday morning with a large check from the orthodontist office.
"It was fun to be on TV with everybody. It was really fun," he said. "I’ve never been on TV for one thing. It was fun because I got to talk and was talking and knowing that 'millions' of people were watching."
Image Orthodontics is donating the surplus candy. It will be distributed within an area foster home and by the Sacramento Food Bank.
Looking for more school news? Check our Back-to-School Guide for 2012.