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ClearWater Conservancy Fundraiser to Feature Local Art & Gourmet Chocolate for Good Cause

by on February 02, 2015 2:13 PM

If you love local art, decadent chocolate or the natural beauty of the State College area, then the ClearWater Conservancy has just the shindig for you – but you’d better act fast.

Conservancy executive director Jennifer Shuey says this Friday’s annual “For the Love of Art and Chocolate” fundraiser has only a handful of empty seats left to go before all 300 spots are filled.

“This has been such a great event over the years,” Shuey says. “There are so many people in our community that care about our natural environment, so we’re always trying to find fun ways to connect with them.”

The proceeds from each $50 ticket to the event will help fund the conservancy’s ongoing efforts to protect farms and woodlands around the Centre region.

Shuey says her organization’s land protection efforts have added more than 1,000 acres to Rothrock State Forest and over 500 acres to the Bald Eagle State Forest since the event’s inception. The money raised on Friday will also provide scholarships to area schools, funding field trips to the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center for students across school districts and grade levels.

“We wanted to do something that was about creating a connection between our children and nature, so they could learn in a hands-on, experiential way,” Shuey says. “Last year we featured this program for this first time, and we raised over $6,000 to spend on field trips. We hope this year we can raise even more.”

But even if none of the conservancy’s programs catch your eye, Shuey says there are slightly more selfish reasons to show up: “all of the chocolate delicacies you can possibly imagine.”

That includes cupcakes, regular cakes, candies, mousses, ice creams and more. The exact selection will be determined by the 40 local restaurants and caterers taking part in the event. Each of them will bring a surprise selection of delicious indulgences to enjoy. The show will also feature 35 different pieces of art inspired by the area’s rich flora and fauna, each of which will be auctioned off to 35 lucky art lovers.

Art and chocolate lovers will also have the chance to bid on a week of vacation time in a cottage nestled in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, as well as an intimate evening of beer tasting and brewery tours at Otto’s Pub and Brewery, and much more.

Shuey says the attendance cap of 300 is a fairly new innovation, put in place last year to help ensure “an intimate, enjoyable evening and a sense of camaraderie” among attendees. She says it’s “extremely gratifying” to see so many people support the ClearWater Conservancy, though she realizes the lure of so much chocolate doesn’t hurt the event’s popularity.

“We’re always trying to figure out exciting ways to tell our story to more people in the community,” Shuey says. “It’s great to see familiar faces at our events, but even better to see people we haven’t met before so we have the chance to hear about their passions and their concerns for our land and our water. We want to hear their stories.”

For the Love of Art and Chocolate will be held at the Ramada Conference Center in State College on Friday, Feb. 6, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.. Shuey says there’s no deadline for registration, but potential attendees should move fast to snag a seat. You can register online or by calling the conservancy at (814) 237-0400.

If you’re still not convinced, click here to view the event catalog for the complete list of artwork, packages, gift cards and other prizes available at Friday’s auction.

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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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