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Annual chocolate festival fundraiser approaches

February 7th, 2015 Posted in Arts and Life

By Parker Atkinson

The 28th annual Valentine Chocolate Festival will be held today. Participants in both the amateur and the professional categories are invited to enter their culinary confections, which will be auctioned off. The yearly fundraiser, started in 1987, donates all proceeds to the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

“It’s a great community event that attracts a core group of Planned Parenthood supporters and folks who simply enjoy chocolate and friendly competition,” said Colleen O’Neill, who has been involved with the festival for the past 10 years.

O’Neill said that last year’s festival attracted 563 people and raised more than $20,000.

“In the last few years, we’ve steadily raised about $20,000 on average. Sometimes we raise a little more, sometimes a little less,” O’Neill said. “The event keeps attracting new people, since most folks learn about the event by word of mouth.”

“The event is incredibly successful because of the dedication of the volunteers,” O’Neill said.

All of the festival organizers are local community members; volunteers help set up, serve and clean afterward. A team of volunteer judges pick the award winners, who receive locally donated prizes.

“It’s that sense of tradition that keeps me coming back every year,” said Andrew Swenson, a student volunteer on the organizing committee.

Attendees of the festival may cast their votes for the people’s choice award, and there is both a silent auction, during the public tasting, and a live auction, for the professional entries.

This year’s festival will be held on Saturday at the Four Season’s Event Center on 140 East 2200 North in North Logan. Public tasting and the silent auction begins at 6:30 p.m., and the live auction at 8:45 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door, $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information visit thechocolatefest.com.

-mdl

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