The hugely popular, annual A Taste of Chocolate will benefit the Women’s Center Friday, February 3 a
The hugely popular, annual A Taste of Chocolate will benefit the Women’s Center Friday, February 3 at 6 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center.
The Women’s Center provides shelter, advocacy services, and counseling for sexual-assault survivors and those escaping abusive situations. In addition, it offers violence-prevention education programs to the community.
A Taste of Chocolate tickets are $35, which includes sweet and savory chocolate tastings from a variety of food vendors.
“The food is really phenomenal and everyone always raves about how amazing it is,” Lindsay Stockhecke, development specialist for the Women’s Center, told Nightlife.
In addition to chocolate, the event also has both silent and live auctions, with proceeds benefitting the Women’s Center. As many as two-hundred items will vary in starting price from $5 to several hundred dollars.
Between the nightmare of Gov. Bruce Rauner holding the Illinois budget hostage, the nightmare that is President Donald Trump, and Republicans everywhere threatening to defund services for women or the needy, fundraising for the Women’s Center is more important than ever.
“With the current [presidential] administration— in the next forty-five days they said they are going to release proposed cuts specifically for services for violence against women,” Stockhecke said.
On January 19, The Hill reported that Trump is considering the elimination of Violence Against Women Act grants.
“We are definitely concerned and we are trying to supplement some of those cuts— both state and federal— and events, fundraising, and donors make a huge difference for us,” Stockhecke said. “Last year we had over four-hundred attendees and raised over $35,000 for the center. We are hoping to top that again this year, because we continue every year to see an increase [in revenue from the Taste of Chocolate], so we are hoping to do that again this year.”
This fundraiser, however, is not only hugely popular because of the cause it supports, but because of the obvious— chocolate.
“The food is a big selling point,” Stockhecke said. “People come and they eat and they shop and we have tons of volunteers that make it run really smoothly. We’ve had this event for over fifteen years, and it’s become something people really look forward to. It’s low-stress, it’s casual, the people that come are in a great mood. Every year it’s been a great event. People know to look forward to great auction items, great food, and a smooth evening.”
Tickets can be purchased online or at the Women’s Center.
“If we don’t sell out, there will be tickets at the door, but typically we do [sell out] and this event is really popular,” Stockhecke said. “We encourage everyone to get tickets ahead of time. We’re also accepting donations for the auction, so if anyone has duplicate Christmas gifts, or a gift card they won’t use, or love creating themed baskets, we’re really excited about highlighting the businesses in the area and including everyone that wants to be included in the auction.”
For more information about the Women’s Center or to purchase Taste of Chocolate tickets, visit <http://www.TheWomensCtr.org>. Those who cannot attend the Taste can donate financially through PayPal or Facebook, or consider serving as Women’s Center volunteers.
who: Women’s Center
what: A Taste of Chocolate (benefit, banquet)
where: Carbondale Civic Center
when: Friday, February 3