For a good cause: Best Friends Mentoring treats donors with annual benefit

Best Friends Mentoring hosted its annual “A Chocolate Affair” this weekend, which benefits youth mentoring in southwest North Dakota.

Chef RubyAnn Stiegelmeier, who won the People's Choice Award at A Chocolate Affair, speaks with a guest Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, during the benefit at Phat Fish Brewing in Dickinson. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

More than 100 people indulged in various truffles and sips this weekend during A Chocolate Affair — the 12th annual benefit that helps at-risk youth in the area.

Hosted by Best Friends Mentoring Program, attendees came out on Saturday to Phat Fish Brewing in Dickinson, sampling from two local chefs’ sweet appetizers including the Northern Soul Chocolate collection from chef RubyAnn Stiegelmeier, who won People’s Choice Award of the night. Stiegelmeier featured her own savory truffles of Dulcey Vanilla Latte — a caramelized white chocolate with a coffee center — and Blanc Satin Limoncello, which is a white chocolate truffle containing a fresh lemon center.

Cut in different shapes, Blanc Satin Limoncello — or white chocolate truffles containing a fresh lemon center — are displayed by RubyAnn Stiegelmeier, of Dickinson, during A Chocolate Affair on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Phat Fish Brewing. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

Truffles of various assortment fill a table at A Chocolate Affair on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Phat Fish Brewing. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)


The evening also featured wine tasting — a donation from Town & Country Liquor — to pair with the luscious originally crafted chocolates from the chefs. Intricate notes from a jazz band uttered in the background as guests mingled with one another over treats, in support of a good cause that helps Stark County and surrounding southwest North Dakota communities.

Katelyn Nguyen, the interim program coordinator at Best Friends Mentoring Program, noted that this event not only showcases local chefs but expands the organization capabilities to reach those in need.

“It just kind of allows us to do more with our program and to spend more time putting in research methods, because we don't just serve here in Dickinson, we also serve in outer lying counties. So it helps us help them as well,” Nguyen said.

Best Friends Mentoring Program is a Dickinson-based organization that provides mentors in communities across Stark County and other counties in southwest North Dakota such as Bowman, Glen Ullin and Hebron. The program also extends its services in schools to youth ages 6 to 16.

Best Friends Mentoring mentor and board member Urja Aryal pours an attendee at A Chocolate Affair a splash of wine Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Phat Fish Brewing in Dickinson. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

Guests mingle during A Chocolate Affair Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Phat Fish Brewing to help benefit Best Friends Mentoring Program that serves at-risk youth. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)


Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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