More than 1,000 chocoholics filled Neuqua Valley High School’s Freshman Center to jump in the bouncy houses, watch family entertainment, and cure their sweet tooths at the 10th Annual Naperville Chocolate Festival.
12-year-old Sophie Henley came out to get ideas for her own recipe book. “It’s good that I get to do something that I love, and they also get a good cause out of it,” she said.
Celebrity guest judges including Mayor Pradel, taste tested the treats for the Fifth Annual Sweet Treats baking competition. Woodridge resident Paula Farrell knew some of her competitors would be tough to beat, but she went on to earn a first place ribbon for her cupcakes.
One thing is for certain, no one left hungry or without trying something new. “I’m eating a date, chocolate, chipotle, truffle,” said the Woodridge residents, Mike Carlucci and Farrell. “And It’s really good,” he added.
360 Youth Services puts on the event every year as one of their three big annual fundraisers. Their mission is to provide life-changing services to youth through prevention education, counseling and shelter.
“It goes to a really good cause which is part of the agency, which allows us to continue to give some of the services we do,” said Rachel Page, a case manager and counselor for 360.
“For us, it’s really a “friend-raiser” we might raise in the area of six to eight thousand dollars but mostly of all, of these families have the chance to come here and hear a little bit about 360 and have a good time on a Saturday in January. And that’s kind of why we do that,” said Ron Hume, 360’s Executive Director.
360 Youth Service’s next big fundraiser is the 14th Annual Spring Ahead Run on April 14th.
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