Those with an insatiable sweet tooth or a simple hankering for the finer things in life were treated to a virtual cornucopia of chocolate, wine and music Wednesday night as the Rotary Club of Warren hosted the eighth annual Chocolate Festival at Packard Music Hall.
"I like to support the Warren Rotary Club and I'm a choc-aholic," Carolyn Sparhawk of Cortland said. "I've tried a lot of different things and it is all really good."
Crowds began circling and lines started forming around 6 p.m. as 12 vendors provided dessert samples, mostly chocolate. John Campolito, president elect of the Warren Rotary, was expecting a large turnout.
Tribune Chronicle / Ashley Newman
Celeste Falter, 60, of Niles, and Andrea Yannucci of Howland pick through the desserts during Wednesday’s Chocolate Festival at Packard Music Hall in Warren.
"Last year we had an outstanding turnout with around 400 people," Campolito said. "We're projected to exceed that this year. People are coming in pretty continuously."
The cover charge was $15 per person, $25 per couple and $10 for youths 12 and younger, with all of the proceeds benefiting the YWCA in Warren.
"I love doing community service work," President of Warren Rotary Danette Palmer said. "It is what I do for my profession. Being able to give back to the community and being able to raise funds for the local charities in the community is extremely important. Rotary is made up mostly of business owners and business professionals in the community.
"It's important that we do our part to give back to the community and help with the nonprofits and the people who are in need."
The event also included a wine tasting by Winestyles, an Oktoberfest beer tasting, a silent auction, Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle and live music by Take 2.
Sponsors of the Chocolate Festival included Daffin's Candies, Just Pizzelles, Albert Guarnieri and Company, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Boy Scouts of America, Cake Boutique, Sam's Club, Scentsy Velata Chocolate Fondue and Tables of Temptations.
Palmer said last year's event brought in $10,000 for charity and she is hoping to surpass that number this year.
"This is one of the major fundraisers that we do and we think people look forward to it every year," Palmer said.