Only one day after Valentine's Day, chocolate remained on minds across Loudoun during the 26th Annual Chocolates Galore & More! at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne.
The event is the "biggest fundraiser of the year" for the Loudoun YMCA, executive director Jason Guerra said.
"All of the proceeds go to our before- and after-school scholarship program and camp scholarships, bringing it right back into the community," Guerra explained, adding that last year the Washington Metropolitan Area YMCA's gave away a total of $2.4 million in scholarships, despite raising only $1.2 million. "We don't turn anyone away."
Loudoun YMCA gave away $189,000 to local kids last year.
"This is our premier event and it helps less fortunate kids have a chance to go to camp and enjoy some of these programs," said Neilson Brooks, associate director of community development for Loudoun YMCA.
Carla Wiley, volunteer chair for the event added, "Sending a kid to camp means so much to the community. It is great for the kids and provides them with enrichment and new experiences. Parents are at ease knowing their kids are safe during the summer."
The annual gala also provides an opportunity to sample selections from some of the finest restaurants and bakeries around, which compete in sweet and savory categories. Judges and attendees select winners.
The 2013 winners for their presentations were:
- Best Taste Dessert - Bungalow Lake House
- Best Presentation Dessert - Market Salamander
- Best Taste Hors D'Oeurvre - Hooked
- Best Presentation Hors D'Oeurvre - National Conference Center
- Best Taste Dessert - Sweetz Bakery
- Best Presentation Dessert - Simply Cakes by Alison
- Best Taste Hors D'Oeuvre - Hooked
- Best Presentation Hors D'Oeuvre - National Conference Center