WHEELING - Chocolate lovers rejoice, because the 25th annual Chocolate Extravaganza has been set for Thursday, May 8 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The event is held every year at Temple Shalom, located at 23 Bethany Pike, Route 88 in Wheeling.
The Extravaganza costs $12 if paid by noon on May 8, and $15 thereafter. Tickets are available at Temple Shalom, along with the Candy Bouquet of Wheeling, Cookie Pops, Forever Sweet, Grindhouse Coffee & Tea, The Honey Hole, Kroger's of Wheeling, Perkins of Moundsville and Wheeling, Tastefully Simple, The Cooky Jar and Valley Cheese. All of the above will be participating in the event, along with Boscov's Department Store, Domino's Pizza, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Farmhouse Sweets and Treats, Metropolitan Citi Grill, Mmm Popcorn, Pretzel Crazy, Sue's Sweet Treats, Velata Fun Fondue and Ye Olde Alpha. Each represented distributor will be giving ticket holders samples of their wares.
"We've had wonderful support from the community in providing these delectable desserts," said Patty Levenson, a member of the Chocolate Extravaganza committee. "We have vendors who have been in this for all 25 years, including Perkins and Ye Olde Alpha. They always have something wonderful to add."
One new vendor is Boscov's Department Store, which will be highlighting the company's fudge products.
The Chocolate Extravaganza usually draws between 400 and 500 people. It is Temple Shalom's largest fundraiser, held in conjunction with the Wheeling Group of Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of Hadassah. All proceeds benefit the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel. The world-renowned HMO is comprised of two medical facilities: the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center at Ein Kerem and Hadassah University Hospital at Mount Scopus. HMO is dedicated to clinical and scientific research, to improve the medical community at large. Most of the medical breakthroughs in Israel occurred at Hadassah, as well as the world's first computer-assisted hip replacement surgery.
Levenson jokes that the event is the Temple's answer to Easter.
"Instead of the Easter Bunny, we have the Chocolate Extravaganza," she said.
The event was founded by Barbara Ruben, a member of the Hadassa Group fundraising committee. She initially spearheaded it and solicited vendors to allow the Extravaganza to grow and gain the popularity it now has.
"All the people gathered together for a common cause, that's exciting," said Levenson. "Everyone from the very young to the very old participates. It's wonderful to see that gap bridged."
In addition to the chocolate, ticket holders will have a shot at winning cakes from local bakeries. There will also be door prizes awarded throughout the two and a half hours.
The Chocolate Extravaganza committee is comprised of Roz Lando, Amy Humphrey, Patty Levenson, Barbara Lief, Marilyn Mendelson, Stephanie Mendelson, Glenda Pavilack, Sherry Rosenberg, Barbara Ruben, Charla Wallace, Bruce Wheeler and Dona Wiseman, all of whom worked diligently in preparing the event.
Call 304-233-4870 to learn more.