Chocolate Party to benefit EVE Inc.

MARIETTA — Putting a weakness for chocolate in the service of a good cause is a rare opportunity.

It’s coming around Sunday when the Chocolate Party at Glenwood opens to the community with chocolate for all. The party, being held from 1-4 p.m. Sunday in the Glenwood Retirement Community commons area, is a fundraiser for EVE, Inc., the nonprofit that operates the city’s domestic violence shelter and provides aid and counseling to victims of domestic violence.

It’s the 30th year for the event, which has become a social calendar fixture in Marietta despite having moved its location a few times. This will be the third year that Glenwood will act as host.

“We have a large space and plenty of parking, and they were really struggling to find a place big enough to accommodate the crowds,” said Laura Miller, marketing director for Glenwood. “And part of it is, being a nonprofit with the United Church Homes, we’re always looking for ways to give to the community.”

EVE, Inc., was established in 1979 to provide help to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The chocolate party began 30 years ago as a fundraiser held in February and has been held at various times in the Levee House and the Betsey Mills Club. Miller said they expect about 300 people to attend.

Miller said the premises are provided at no cost to EVE. The chocolates for sale all are contributed, EVE board member Brandee Norris said.

“We will have hundreds of different kinds of chocolate, portioned out. It comes from friends, board members, businesses, a lot of them support EVE,” Norris said. “There will be brownies, cakes, cannolis, fruit covered with chocolate… it’s all-you-can-eat chocolate, you can take it out if you want, there will be a chocolate fountain.”

The event usually brings in a few thousand dollars for EVE, but Norris said it’s also a tool to acquaint people with the services the organization provides.

“It helps build awareness for the shelter and services, lets people know we’re there for them,” she said. “In addition to the shelter, we provide counseling, school programs, a supervised visitation center.”

Norris said the demand for EVE’s services is climbing, and board members now hear presentations from staff members and front-line workers at their regular meetings.

“It’s called a mission moment, with staff members sharing their stories, and it’s great for the board members to hear about the impact EVE has,” she said.

Anyone who wants to donate chocolate for the event is welcome to drop it off at Glenwood between 10-11 a.m. Sunday.

Miller said the Glenwood residents and staff will also be involved in the party.

“Two of the residents have volunteered as ambassadors, to help people with directions as they come in and to welcome them,” she said. “We also invite the residents to come — this is their home, after all — at a discounted price. Last year about 40 came.”

The cost for non-residents is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and younger and $25 for families of four or more.

“There are people who have been coming to this for years,” Miller said. “One family from Cleveland comes every year, and they hang all day. If you’ve got a weakness for chocolate, there’s no other place to be.”