A chocolate lover’s dream

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Fundraiser: Tickets for next week’s Festival of Chocolate are on sale now

By Bernadette Lauritzen

Tickets to a land of chocolate are available for $20, from the Betty Ehart Senior Center — and the trip is scheduled for Nov. 10.
The annual Festival of Chocolate will be from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. to benefit local senior and youth programs.
The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization and Champions of Youth Ambitions have teamed together for the fundraiser.
“We could not do this event without volunteers,” said Pauline Powell Schneider, LARSO director. “The seniors who come that night to serve, welcome and support the event; people we work with regularly, like Los Alamos Retirement Community and the Medical Center, are very supportive of the event and they have kitchens with creative chefs who are happy to donate chocolate treats for our festival.”
Through the efforts of Los Alamos MainStreet and a variety of local business, the long-term tradition of the Festival of Chocolate will kick off a weeklong event called, The Festival of Trees.
Holiday trees, available by silent auction are unveiled annually during the Festival of Chocolate, when the bid sheets officially go up and Chef Michael Mason’s homemade hot cocoa begins to pour.
Mason and his sidekick, Chef Ortiz are two of a variety of local chefs and businesses that will get heart rates pumping with a sugar high. Mason also plans to make chocolate candies and a special surprise cake for the get-together.
Mason said he enjoys catering and cooking for family get-togethers. He and the missus have three picky eaters, but love to cook together and make new creations to tempt young taste buds.
Ortiz will make his chocolate cupcakes and white chocolate fudge with and without nuts.
He said he likes to bake for the White Rock Baptist Church in his free time, but is a meat and potatoes guy at heart. You can find him behind the grill when not at the BESC and he loves green chile.
Additional technical chocolate support will come from chefs at the Dixie Girl, the Hill Diner, the Hilltop House Hotel, Morning Glory Bakery, Los Alamos Medical Center, Aspen Ridge Lodge and the Coffee House Café.
 “I love seeing the trees and wreaths all lit for the first time, walking around enjoying them and eating and drinking chocolate to the sounds of great music,” Schneider said. “It’s rather magical.”
Live music from My Blue Heaven will entertain for those that like to dance off a few calories — or sit back and enjoy the view.
Tickets can be purchased in advance, at the BESC or held at will call for the night of the event. Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling, 662-8920.