Whether you are Chocolate Decadence virgin or veteran, this guide is designed to help you navigate a memorable evening and make the most of your Chocolate Decadence 2018 experience. Bringing a guest, or perhaps you were invited to be a guest at someone’s table? This guide helps with everything you need to know to have a great time and help you understand some of the inside lingo, so you don’t miss a thing. The event is Friday, February 9th and reservations are available at www.AphasiaWTx.org/chocolate-decadence. Cocktail hour starts at 6pm. The fun begins at 6pm with a cocktail hour.
What is Chocolate Decadence
Chocolate Decadence is a fundraiser benefiting the Aphasia Center of West Texas. The event is hosted by the Center’s staff with the help of a particularly wonderful group of volunteers. The concept, developed by creative fundraising guru Cece Brune, is centered around, decadent chocolate, Valentine’s Day, and love; not necessarily in that order. This event quickly became one of the most anticipated parties of the year. Chocolate Decadence always takes place in February, but tables can sell out mid-January so reserve your table/tickets early. The 2018 theme is Phantom of the Opera.
What is Aphasia
Aphasia is a communication impairment, typically caused by a stroke. Aphasia affects a person’s expression and understanding of language as well as their ability to read and write.
Arriving at the Event
Valet parking is available. Upon arrival, the volunteer event staff will help you check in and locate your table. Also, watch for servers carting trays of bubbly. They can be found near the entrance.
Shopping & Other Event Activities
As soon as you find your seat and grab a drink there are many other aspects of the event you won’t want to miss…
PHOTO WITH THE PHANTOM
He’s handsome, he’s in costume, and he’s available for a photo with you or your group! Believe us, you’ll want to post these pics!
If you like to power shop, use this time to scope out the various merchants that create your boutique experience. There’s something for everyone at a wide variety of price points (starting at $5)! Better yet, join your friends and let this activity be a social affair. You are sure to find a unique gift for your special Valentine(s) and 15% will go to the Aphasia Center. Think scarves, jewelry, home goods, entertaining ware and more. Items are new each year. The boutique accepts all forms of payment.
Place your bid on your choice of a dozen wine- and whiskey-themed high-end gifts. Try your luck, there are no losers. Either way, you give to a great cause!
GLASS CHOCOLATE RAFFLE
For a $100 donation, you’ll be entered into a raffle for airfare, hotel, and two tickets to a Broadway play (with several options to choose from). This fantastic package also includes a pre-show dinner with one of the actors – your chance to win all this for only $100! Plus, the first 100 ticket-buyers receive a collectible, hand-blown glass chocolate.
This is your chance to bid on one-of-a-kind extravagant items including trips, catered dinners/parties, fine jewelry, and more. Be sure to visit the Chocolate Decadence page of the Aphasia Center website to read about item details prior to the event (http://www.aphasiawtx.org/chocolate-decadence/live-auction-packages). A professional auctioneer makes this an exciting time even if you don’t get it on the bidding action.
The annual costs for various expenses and programming such as book club, conversation groups, hobby groups and overhead are offered as part of the auction. This is your chance to give directly where it counts most, and 100% of the proceeds go to benefit the Center.
Eats & Drinks
The evening begins with live entertainment starting with a 6 p.m. cocktail hour that includes savory meats, vegetables, and other hearty meal-worthy items. At 7 p.m., your sweet tooth will be satisfied with the unveiling of the decadent desserts and more savories. Catering staff does their best to keep your water and tea glasses full, and the bar is available for those who prefer something of a stronger variety. Costs for drinks are included in the ticket price.
Who will be there
What started with a few tables has grown into THE Can’t Miss Event of the year. 350+ of your new closest friends attend this much anticipated soiree. Bring your own crew, come ready to make new friends, or both. Local celebrities including Jay Hendricks, Tatum Hubbard, Keith Moore, The Eoffs, David Hamm and others have been known to make an appearance. This is the place to see and be seen!
What to Wear
Chocolate Decadence features a new theme each year which is artfully selected by the chairperson. The chairman for 2018 is Marion Bryant. She selected Phantom of the Opera as the theme and masks are welcome. Themes of years past include Wizard of Oz, Paint the Town Red, and Gangsters & Flappers. Dressing for the theme is admired, but the only real requirement is to have a good time. If you are not in costume, cocktail attire or party wear is most appropriate for the evening.
Each year volunteers nominate leaders who has gone above and beyond for the Center. This can be a dynamic duo, a special group, a company, or a person. The winner of this prestigious award is honored at the event and posted on the Center’s social media feeds (pictures often include tiaras and crowns). This year’s winner is long time advocate, supporter, and board member, David Ham.
What to Bring & How to Pay
There will be lots of items for purchase at the event, and you may be moved to support our cause, so be sure to bring your favorite method of payment. The Aphasia Center is ready to accept your check, cash and credit cards at the event, or anytime. Table reservations must be made and paid in advance either online or via phone. The Center pays a percentage of each credit card transaction. Therefore, checks for larger payments is preferable, but your convenience is most important.
What Else You Should Know
Living with Aphasia is easier when more people know about the condition (a result from an injury to the brain) and understand the challenges. Your participation is important to our cause. Spreading the word about aphasia, the Aphasia Center and the work we do will help generate a better and more ubiquitous understanding.
About the Volunteers
The Aphasia Center volunteers are some of the best and teamwork is the name of the game. New to volunteering? Come learn from the best, or lend your expertise to enhance the group. All skill sets, and special talents welcomed.
About the Aphasia Center
The Aphasia Center of West Texas is a safe place for area residents to access a network of support and learn aphasia communication strategies plus practical tips that lessen the daily frustration of living with aphasia. Our model is not medical but rather a life participation approach to overcoming communication barriers caused by aphasia. Our members pay a low monthly fee and scholarships are available to those who qualify. The Aphasia Center of West Texas was the second independent aphasia center in the United States to implement a life participation approach to living with aphasia.