My Blue Heaven 2015 Festival Of Chocolate Nov. 14

Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen
 
COMMUNITY News:
 
You’ll think you’re in heaven this Saturday as you swoon to the golden melodious tones of My Blue Heaven at the 2015 Festival of Chocolate.
 
It isn’t often that you can eat chocolate and benefit two great community programs, but this weekend you will have that opportunity. The fun festival kicks off a week-long celebration to benefit the many programs at the Betty Ehart Senior Center and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA).
 
The Betty Ehart Senior Center and the White Rock Senior Center are both run by the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization (LARSO) under the direction of Pauline Powell Schneider, who was suckered into giving this event a try, a decade ago.
 
“I think the popularity comes from the combination of friends, delicious food, music and dancing and at a good price for two good causes,” Powell Schneider said. “We have a number of people who put this event on their calendars every year.”
 
The chocolates are fabulous creations from local and surrounding communities happy to use their artistic talents and cocoa creations to assist youth and senior programs. The chef at Los Alamos Medical Center is planning a flourless chocolate cake and might have some other idea on the horizon. Aspen Ridge Lodge, another partnering entity with the senior centers in caring for seniors in the community also is in the planning stages.
 
The culinary crew of the BESC staff this week will not only prepare nutritional lunches for the frail and elderly, a family style meal for those seniors who attend lunch daily at the center, but will squeeze time in after hours to cull their culinary skills to create some chocolate confections for Saturday. Those two chefs are Chef Fred Ortiz and Chef Michael Mason who are great supporters of the events each year.
 
Donations also are being made this year by Papa Murphy’s, Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club, Mrs. Pyle’s baking and culinary students at Los Alamos High School, Mihaela Popa-Simil and more.
 
The festival coordinators decided to reduce the price in 2015 to just $15 for two hours of fun, live music, chocolate of course and the first chance to view the Festival of Trees in its entirety. They also hope it is a chance to find even more community members willing to support their efforts and come out for a great evening.
 
The funds raised will support numerous projects for the many senior center programs. LARSO programs include; the Day Out Program, a monthly newsletter, numerous groups including quilters, computer users, billiards, table tennis, a new and improved website and so much more.
 
Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) runs three major programs including science in the classroom with Chad Lauritzen, known as the Sci Guy, WEB Crew a leadership program that welcomes incoming seventh graders at the middle school and the Community Assets Awards, which launches just before Thanksgiving.
 
Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen
 
Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen
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