On Oct. 15, AIDS Foundation of Chicago kicked off its annual World of Chocolate fundraiser with a pre-party at The Peninsula, 108 E. Superior St. This brought community awareness to the upcoming commemorative to World AIDS Day event in December that more than 1,200 people attend every year.
While grooving to the tunes of DJ Marc "Moose" Moder, attendees were able to sample some of the expected chocolate treats in October. Guests gobbled down hors d'oeuvres like the buffalo chicken spring rolls, and mini-cheeseburgers. Stoli vodka provided a tasting of chocolate martinis that are always a hit at the large seasonal fundraiser. Lady Gregory's Irish Bar & Restaurant supplied the wine, thanks to owner Martin Cournane. Red was the featured color in this event space at The Peninsula,thanks to lighting designer Beau Brown.
Greg Hyder, who works at The Peninsula Chicago and is also a co-chair of the host committee, spoke of his long-term commitment to the organization and the backing of the hotel. Appreciation was shown for Chef Dimitry Fayard, The Peninsula's pastry chef at the same time.
Jill Allread, another co-chair of the group, acknowledged committee ambassadors in the room for all of their efforts and hard work selling tickets. She then introduced AFC President/CEO John Peller. He thanked the many sponsors for World of Chocolate, including BMO Harris Bank, Gilead, McDonald's, Walgreens and PepsiCo. The official chocolate sponsor will be Barry-Callebaut. Windy City Media Group is a long-term media sponsor of the event.
Prepare to be covered in chocolate all night at Union Station, 225 S. Canal Street, on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. Visit www.aidschicago.org/chocolate for ticket information.
Text and photos by Jerry Nunn