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There's a Lot of Love for ClearWater Conservancy Fundraiser

by on February 04, 2014 11:45 AM

For the first time, ClearWater Conservancy's "For the Love of Art & Chocolate" fundraiser has sold out.

The annual event, which is a chocoholic's paradise, benefits ClearWater's mission for clean water, land conservation and land restoration.

While dining on an unlimited selection of delectable chocolate donated by local restaurants, chocolatiers and candy shops, guests bid on local artists' creations through a silent auction. Much of the art is nature inspired, keeping with ClearWater's outdoor mission.

Also new this year is a Caribbean Yacht Cruise that will be auctioned off. Kristie and Rich Weiss Realtors at Gambone Songer and Associates Realty donated a four day, five night island-hopping cruise aboard their yacht out of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This is the 15th anniversary of the event, which will be held on Feb. 7 at the Ramada Conference Center and Golf Hotel. It runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Communications Director Chris Hennessey says this is the first time the event has sold out in advance.

That's due in part to a decision to scale back on the size. Organizers decided to make the event smaller for a more intimate setting, Hennessey says.

Only 250 tickets were sold for $50 each. Last year, more than 400 attended the event.

Proceeds will go into ClearWater's general fund. In 2013, ClearWater raised about $24,000 at the event.

Additionally, the event will highlight the group's Connections Program, which introduces children to the outdoors and the concept of conservation.

"The goal is to introduce them to the outdoors, the importance of clean water, open space, conservation of land," says Hennessey. "Without us paying for that those kids would not have that experience because the schools just don't have it in their budgets. That was the reason it was started because kids just aren't getting out and ... learning about the eco system."

Through the program, up to 3,500 kids in Centre County go to Millbrook Marsh for a day of outdoor education. ClearWater owns part of the marsh, which is a key part of the local water supply.

"We need to introduce the next generation to the concept of preserving land and water," says Hennessey.

To make a donation to ClearWater, visit HERE.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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