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   They say the eating of chocolate is one of life’s “sinful” pleasures.
   However, the 6th Annual A Chocolate Affair to Remember — sponsored by the Catholic Charities of Fayetteville — will allow you to have your truffle and eat it too ... minus any guilt.
   {mosimage}The event will be held Jan. 31, 7 p.m., at Saint Ann Catholic Community Social Hall in downtown Fayetteville and is the only annual fundraiser for Catholic Charities of Cumberland County. A $25 ticket will allow you to indulge in a variety of chocolate treats and beverages, along with fruit and cheese. There will also be both a silent and live auction emceed by local auctioneer Col. Robert Pegram and a White Chocolate Elephant Table chock full of special, donated goodies.
   All money raised at the event will go toward the mission of Catholic Charities, which provides emergency assistance to those in need, outfits a child’s and infant’s closet, and provides counseling and job placement.
   “The money we raise from this fundraiser is given to those in need, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity,” said George Quigley, a spokesman for Catholic Charities — the oldest charity in North Carolina. “The biggest needs are emergency assistance and counseling in child abuse situations. With the bad economy we’re seeing a substantial increase in the number of requests for assistance.
   The chocolate, desserts, fruit and cheese are all donated by a number of local businesses, individuals  and chocolatiers, including Jeannie Nelson, owner of The Chocolate Lady located in downtown Fayetteville.
   “It’s a wonderful cause and it’s a popular, well-run event,” said Nelson. “Last year I did a lot of chocolate strawberries, which I’ll have a lot of this year. And I like to do a lot of fun stuff, such as chocolate ladybugs and butterflies — things people aren’t expecting. I usually try to do a variety of things. I also try to throw in some crazy things. One year I did a chocolate carousel as a centerpiece.
   “I think it’s a very important event this year with the shape of the economy,” said Nelson. “It’s a reasonably priced event and you get a lot for your money, including great tasting treats and entertainment.”


Contact Tim Wilkins at tim@upandcomingweekly.com
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