By Madilyn Moore
Yukon will host its 9th annual Chocolate Festival from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.
The festival will feature an array of different booths, chocolate tasting contests and a silent auction.
Admission includes 10 chocolate samples per ticket and costs $12.50 until the Friday before the event and can be purchased at the Mabel C. Fry Library. Tickets will be $15 at the door. Cards are not accepted for payment, only cash or check.
The festival will benefit two non-profit groups, including the Ladies Library Club and Friends of the Park. Librarian Sara Schieman helps coordinate and plan the event every year.
“This is a fundraising event for the Ladies Library Club and Friends of the Park,” Schieman said. “We split the proceeds pretty much down the middle. We take our expenses and we take our profit, subtract the expenses from the profit and then divide the profit. Each fundraising group gets the proceeds.”
These non-profits have been around for a long time and strive to do good for the community. The Ladies Library Club, for example, has assembled since 1905.
“These ladies had bake sales and all sorts of different fundraisers to raise money for the library building,” Schieman said. “They started paying Miss Mabel Fry, the first paid librarian of the city, built the original building that is at 510 Elm and governed the library until 1979.”
Yukon Friends of the Park was incorporated in 2003 and became an actual non-profit organization in 2008. The friends assist with the demands and needs of the park and pay for what the city budget doesn’t cover, same with the Ladies Library Club.
“We have a regular city budget, but there are always things that we’ll need,” Schieman said. “Like that mural that is on the wall in the children’s area, they (Ladies Library Club) paid for that.
“They have also bought us computers and printers in the past. They’ve helped buy new flooring for the entryway. So anything that we need help with or if any emergency comes up that the budget won’t cover, they will cover. Whatever need that I have, they’ll provide for it.”
BENEFIT BOTH LOCAL GROUPS
Chocolate Festival coordinators meet right before Christmas to discuss event dates and send out their promotional materials.
Yukon Parks & Recreation Director Jan Scott said this event brings a substantial amount of funds for the two groups.
“It varies from year to year, but in years past we have made as much as $2,500 for each group,” Scott said.
Schieman encourages the people of Yukon to partake in the Feb. 1st event, not just because it’s for a good cause, but also for the experience.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Schieman said. “We do contests for best chocolate and best booth, we also have a bake sale and a silent auction. It’s also an opportunity to meet city council candidates or school board candidates, so you get to meet people you wouldn’t normally run into.
“There are also churches there, so if you are interested in the church and you are at an event like this, you can meet some people from there and get a feel for it.”
Many local businesses will partake in the Yukon Chocolate Festival.
“So far we have 18, so we still have a few more booth spaces,” Schieman said this week. “It’s an assortment of local businesses, some churches and non-profit groups. YNB provides water for the event.”
Renting booth space is a way to advertise a business and communicate with the community for free.
If interested in renting a booth or have any questions, call Schieman at 354-8232 or Scott at 350-8937.