Chocolate affair to officially take place Sept. 12
The world was abruptly put to a halt in April with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many events to be postponed or cancelled altogether. Fortunately, the Best Friends Mentoring Program never gave up on their 'chocolate affair' fundraiser that usually takes place in April. Five months later, the event is set to be on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Phat Fish Brewery.
Kris Fehr, the organizer of the event, discussed why the organization opted to reschedule the event, rather than cancel it when most events were.
"For one, some of our other fundraisers were not able to be held and so we had a big hole in our budget and we decided to reschedule to see if we could hold the event just later in the year," she said. "We want to be able to serve the kids and the families that we committed to serve."
"We made the decision to rescheduled and looked down the line to ‘what does September look like for everybody?' Which was the latest that we could hold it," Fehr added. "We worked really closely with Phat Fish Brewery, they were really fantastic to work with to be able to hod the event safely."
The event has been taking place for over 11 years, but has always been indoors. For the first time ever, majority of the event will be held on the outside patio of Phat Fish. The event will have many fan favorites, but the sweet chocolate and delicious wine has participants excited for the upcoming event.
"We’ll have everything outdoors except for a couple of things indoors which would give people a little break if they were getting tired of being outside. They could come in and do a little of the activities inside," Fehr said.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. with the Dakota Jazz band playing throughout to bring soothing sounds to those at the event. During the event, seven local chefs will be providing a taste of their personalized chocolate creation. The guests will then be able to vote for their favorite treats in the people's choice chef award. The chefs that place first, second and third will receive a medal.
For beverages, A total of 20 quality wines will be available. Phat Fish will be getting in on the action with sponsoring four of their homemade brews and created one specifically for the event which is a chocolate porter.
"People who like beer and chocolate, I think are really going to be able to enjoy that," Fehr said.
A silent auction will be available featuring prestigious artwork, wine and other items will be available. Participants can also pay to play in the Wall of Wine and win a bottle of wine.
Even for those that may not want to participate in the silent auction, they still have a chance of walking home with a prize. Guests that purchased tickets will be automatically put in the drawing for a chance to win some exquisite prizes. The grand prize will be a $1,700 diamond necklace from Little’s Jewelers.
"That’s been very popular, people seem to really love to win a diamond necklace," Fehr said.
The night is sure to be exciting but when all is said and done, it's all for the kids.
"We just are really committed to our program and our youth, especially the at-risk youth in southwest North Dakota," Fehr said. "It’s a great feeling knowing that the community, guests and sponsors are supporting the mentoring and believing in the power of mentoring. It has long term benefits for the youth in our program and for our community."
Fehr said the event will have COVID-19 precautions at the site. Hand sanitizer will be available in multiple locations throughout the facility and volunteers that will be serving food and beverages will be wearing masks. The organization encourages guests to wear a mask and will have masks available.
Tickets are $50 online, and will be $60 on Saturday at the location. To purchase tickets, log onto bestfriendsnd.org.