Everybody wins at Chocolate Celebration

Written on 05/10/2024
Patrick Munsey

Samaritan Caregivers raises $17,000 with annual tasty fundraiser

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Chocolate lovers descended upon One Church on May 3 to experience the 22nd annual Samaritan Caregivers Chocolate Celebration, and by the time the event concluded, there was nary a chocolate treat to be found.

The event, Samaritan Caregivers' largest fundraiser of the year, did much to secure the health of the nonprofit, raising nearly $17,000. Those funds will be used to provide food and transportation to dozens of local residents who struggle with food insecurity in their golden years.

While visitors reveled in the abundance of chocolate, their tickets did more than redeem treats. They also served as votes. As in past years, awards were given to the participating vendors who redeemed the most tickets -- the "People's Choice." With 35 participating vendors, the competition promised to be close.

This year, the winner was Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union with their sweet and savory chocolate chip cookies, infused with potato chips, pretzels, and other snacks. The cookies were so popular that Solidarity sold through its supply.

New this year was an award for the best first-time vendor. With seven competitors making their inaugural appearance, Abundant Life Church took home the prize with its iced mocha.

In all, eight awards were given, with a panel of celebrity tasters determining the best entrants. Tammy Lively of WWKI was one of the judges. She commented that the aforementioned Solidarity cookies were a favorite.

"(Mayor) Tyler Moore and I bit into the cookies at the same time," said Lively. "We looked at each other and knew, oh my, they were so delicious! When we were done judging, I took all of the tickets I bought and got all of those cookies I could."

An event like the Chocolate Celebration cannot succeed without the efforts of a boatload of volunteers and willing vendors donating their time and resources. Samaritan Caregivers executive director Jamey Henderson expressed her gratitude to everyone who had a hand in this year's celebration.

She extended special thanks to the National Honor Society members from Western High School who tracked ticket sales and redemptions.

For more information about Samaritan Caregivers, visit www.samaritancaregivers.org.