February 9, 2011
LEWISBURG, PA—In the dead of winter, in the face of yet another ice storm during the Lewisburg Ice Festival, the 13th Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy Festival to benefit the Donald L Heiter Community Center, came off without a hitch. Even after hundreds of crazies took to the Susquehanna River for the annual ice plunge earlier that afternoon and even with a near capacity crowd at the Bucknell-Navy basketball game that night, the sellout crowd of 185 chocolate lovers got what they came for at the Lewisburg Hotel on Saturday evening……chocolate, and lot’s of it.
Starting with 145 pounds of donated Hershey Chocolate, festival goers indulged in their passion by also sampling dozens of chocolate creations entered into an amateur competition as well as a number of fabulous professional creations provided by Elizabeths, Fleur et Chocolat, Purity Candy, Reba & Pancho’s, Victoria House, Cherry Ally Café, Temperance House and Weis Markets.
As festival goers indulged in hot appetizers and of course, chocolate, they were treated to a live a capella performance by “The Sillhouettes” , an all female singing group from Bucknell and of course, more chocolate and then more music throughout the evening provided by disc jockey Jon Hendershot and a sound system provided by Mark Swank.
In addition to the festival goers, the main beneficiary of this evening to remember was the Donald L Heiter Community Center in Lewisburg. Nearly fifty donated items from area businesses were bid on throughout the evening in a silent auction and thirteen other donated items were auctioned off during a live auction conducted by professional auctioneer Thomas B. Marquette. Final figures have not been tallied yet but the Heiter Center hopes this year’s festival was one of the best as a result of the auction items and the hundreds of raffle tickets sold over the past couple of weeks by numerous board members, volunteers and the Chi Omega Sorority and the Theta Chi Fraternity at Bucknell.
Winners for the evening in the amateur chocolate competition, as judged by a panel of distinguished judges were: 1st Prize Cakes: Phoebe Oshirak for her “Fancy Flowers Chocolate Cake”, 1st Prize Desserts/Pastries: Polly Doyle for her: Chocolate Custard with Butterscotch Whipped Cream”, 1st Prize Candies: Tammie Kline for Her “Chocolate Lover’s Unite” assorted homemade candy, 1st Prize Savory: Kim DiRocco for her Chili Con Carney Chocolate. The Grand Prize, “Best in Show” went to Phoebe Oshirak.
Among the 13 live auction items; an 8 person private cooking class by Reba and Panchos sold for $800, a complete Man’s tuxedo donated by Joe Kleinbauer, Inc sold for $350, a pair of season tickets to Bucknell Men’s and Women’s Basketball for the 2011-12 season sold for $200 as did a Private Summer Class for 6 People to learn how to create a patio planter from Country Farm and Home, a David Armstrong Limited Edition Print from the Open Door sold for $250, a limited edition Bradley Hendershot reproduction sold for $270 and a limited edition Bradley Shoemaker print went for $230, a couple of season tickets to the Weis Center for the 2011-12 season went for $210, a one night stay at the Inn at Hickory Run sold for $160, a catered home made Pizza Party by Jeff and Deb Ranck went for$150, a four seasonal flower arrangement package form the Country Cupboard sold for $130, a gift basket from the Gingerbread House sold for $45 and a Stephen Joseph Umbrella, jacket and rolling luggage from the Purple Platypus sold for $30.
As the evening melted away, festival co-chair Jane Amacher acknowledged all of the staff and volunteers who helped in organizing this year’s event, including the youth group from the Revival Tabernacle in Milton and then President Molly Pavlechko drew the winners of the raffle prizes from a basket held by evening emcee, Paul Smith. The 14K White Gold and Diamond Necklace sponsored by Williams and Williams Jewelers was won by Lisa Springer, 2 tickets to a Pittsburgh Steelers game sponsored by Symons Capital Management were won by John Stevenson, A Mountain Bike sponsored by Lack and Strosser Architecture and Pronto Provision with Passion, Inc was won by Bucknell Head Football Coach Joe Susan, an LG 26 inch LCD Flat Screen TV sponsored by Jane and Loren Amacher was won by Tim Sweeney, 2 final round tickets to this years US Open Golf Championship at Congressional Country Club sponsored by Jeff and Deb Ranck was won by Karen Teichman, a Wii Gaming System sponsored by Pete and Irene Henninger was won by Patty Driver and a Nook 3G sponsored by Molly Pavlechko and Michael Johnson-Cramer was won by Paula Wolfe.
On an icy winter weekend in Lewisburg, the Ice Festival and Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy Festival, both lived up to their names.
The Donald Heiter Community Center served 4500 individuals last year through its various programs that reach out to individuals in a five county area and a population base well in excess of 30,000 people. The popular after school program serves between 88 and 111 children ages 5 to 13 in addition to adult classes, summer day camp and annual programs such as “Yellow Dress”.