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Philanthropic festival a sweet deal for guests

Planned Parenthood fundraises at local event

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 00:02

Hearts melting chocolates

Meghann Nixon photo

"Hearts Melting on an open fire" was one dessert served at the chocolate festival


Hundreds of community members gathered Saturday in the Four Seasons Conference Center in North Logan for the annual Valentine’s Chocolate Festival, a fundraiser for the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

 

The festival is a charity event where professional and amateur chocolatiers join together, donating their goods to raise money for PPAU and Cache Valley’s local clinic.

 

"It’s lighthearted competition, a festive fundraiser, and a friendly celebration of good friends. It’s a fun way to support continuing access to quality health care in Cache Valley," said Paige Helmick, a sophomore in social studies.

 

Helmick is a member of Voices for Planned Parenthood, or VOX, a club on campus which represents PPAU and strives to educate and provide assistance for students regarding their reproductive health. Similar chapters exist on other college campuses in Utah, but members of the USU chapter have spent the last few weeks talking to community members and hanging fliers to advertise the event.

 

At the event, community members paid $10 and were able to sample and vote on some of the area’s best chocolates. They also participated in the auctioning of the winning treats. Members of VOX served treats and collected donations.

 

“It’s a fun way to get the community involved in a good cause … and it’s a great feeling at the end of the night when they announce how much money we raised,” said Andrew Swensen, president of the club and a junior studying English.

 

The organization raised around $20,000 and catered to around 400 people last year.

 

"And there are even more this year," said Colleen O'Neill, a member of the festival's organizing committee.

 

Patrons walked along to the jazzy beat of a live band as they sampled a variety of chocolates, cakes and other treats.

 

"We are so excited that people would still come out despite the dreary weather,” said Peggy Nevber, a member of PPAU. “It's so nice to see people having a great time, and who wouldn't when chocolate is involved?"

 

Volunteers stationed around the venue sold raffle tickets for items such as a designer chair, dinner for four at Le Nonne Ristorante Italiano and more. There was also a Valentine’s Day station where kids made cards.

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