Things could not have been sweeter for hundreds of patrons who attended the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's ( AFC's ) World of Chocolate, which was held at the Imperial Ballroom of the Fairmont Chicago Dec. 2. This event allowed people to sample many creative chocolate creations from some of Chicago's top vendors while contributing funds needed in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Guests sampled goodies from businesses ranging from Le Francais restaurant to Moonstruck Chocolate Café to Love in Disguise Chocolate. However, there was a competitive element to the evening as well. A group of local celebrities, including First Slice founder Mary Ellen Diaz and news anchor Robin Robinson, judged the chocolatiers' wares and handed out honors such as the Loco Cocoa and the Hot Chocolate awards.
The event also featured a holiday bazaar, complete with ornaments and holiday gifts; an open bar; a light buffet; and a raffle with prizes that included a round-trip vacation on American Airlines.
Jim Struthers, AFC's director of fundraising, was quite pleased with the turnout for the gala. He told Windy City Times that ' [ t ] his is our third annual event and we've grown from 400 people to 800 people to 1,100 this year. We're extremely happy with how many people turned out and [ it represents ] such a great cross-section of the city.'
AFC grants funding for local HIV/AIDS care and prevention programs; supports sound AIDS policy and increased public support for all AIDS-related services; and develops and implements strategies for coordinating AIDS care and prevention services.
Text by Andrew Davis
Photos by Suzanne Kraus