15th annual event caters to ‘chocholics’

Anyone trying to kick a serious chocolate habit probably won’t want to attend the 15th annual Chocolate Extravaganza at Trinity Episcopal Church. All others, however, should embrace this fun and scrumptious event that stars chocolate in all of its rich forms and flavors.

“The event was started by a group of chocoholics,” said local radio personality Mary Thurston, a confessed member of Trinity’s bevy of friendly chocolate addicts. “We all had really great and interesting chocolate recipes that we would trade back and forth.”

Since the church already had a long tradition of hosting a Victorian-themed tea each spring featuring a variety of desserts, the group opted to plan a winter version and make it all about chocolate. The decadent Chocolate Extravaganza was created, and this year will take place Feb. 15 from 2-4 p.m.

“It features every kind of chocolate from chocolate-covered bacon to chocolate mint and chocolate with peanut butter to chocolate chocolate and dark chocolate and milk chocolate,” Thurston said. “There are cakes, pies, tarts, cheesecakes, cookies and candies all sorts of different things. It involves anything people like that has to do with chocolate, and it’s all-you-can-eat so you can have as much chocolate as you want.”

The event is more than just about indulging in a nearly universal favorite food. All proceeds raised go to fund college scholarships for students associated with Trinity.

“We decided to use the proceeds for parish scholarships,” Thurston said. “For kids that go to Trinity, we wanted to help them with the cost of going to school. They can apply for a scholarship, and we happily give them one.”

The number of scholarships given out each year varies depending upon the number of applicants, but all who apply generally receive one.

Besides a bountiful supply of chocolate desserts, the event also will feature live jazz music by local musician Kat Tomaszewski. Several door prizes will given away as well, each with a chocolate theme.

Thurston has been involved with the Chocolate Extravaganza since the beginning, and is known for her chocolate strawberry cheesecakes that she makes in cupcake tins. She will be making this crowd favorite again this year, along with chocolate-covered bacon.

“I tried the chocolate covered bacon last year, and it didn’t turn work out well, but I have perfected it since then,” she said.

Approximately 30 different kinds of chocolate desserts will be featured. Many are made by the core group of six Trinity chocoholics, but other parishioners and people in the community donate their creative chocolate efforts as well.

Tickets to the Chocolate Extravaganza are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. The tickets are available in advance at the church or at the door the day of the event.

To make reservations, call Trinity Episcopal Church at 356-0576.