What a wonderful World of Chocolate: annual event raises sweet cash for HIV/AIDS support

December 20, 2018

Smiling Group at World of ChocolateA thousand guests came together at Revel Fulton Market to celebrate the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s (AFC) World of Chocolate gala on Friday, Nov. 30. The evening raised over $200,000 (gross) to support the vital services AFC provides to thousands of Chicagoans each year, in addition to its policy and advocacy work to make equity and justice a reality in Illinois and beyond. 

“Today, we feast — and tomorrow we fight,” said John Peller, AFC’s president/CEO. “This party revs us up for another year of supporting Illinoisans living with HIV and ensuring that Illinois can end new HIV transmissions by 2030.”  

At the 17th year of this event, guests sampled chocolate creations crafted by 22 area chocolatiers and confectioners, each ranging from sweet to savory to boozy. Six local celebrities, food writers and Chicago-area chefs judged the participating vendors this year: Valerie Beck, Ariel Cheung, Veronica LePinske, Sean Lewis, Paul Lisnek and Liz Winiarski. 

Winners include: 

People's Choice: My Chocolate Soul, feat. Walgreens 
Best Sweet: Longman & Eagle 
Best Savory: Just Like U Like It – Gourmet Cheesecake 
Best Sculpture: Longman & Eagle 
Best Libation: CH Distillery
Best Small Business: Prasino 
Best Large Business: LondonHouse Chicago 

World of Chocolate was proud to feature four Black-owned businesses at this year’s feast: Vivere, Noir d'Ebene Chocolat et Patisserie, My Chocolate Soul and Just Like U Like It Gourmet Cheesecake. You can find a complete list of generous chocolatiers participating in World of Chocolate here.

Through a zero-landfill initiative in partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance, the 22 chocolatiers and event catering team diverted over 60% of waste from landfills and into the Chocolate Samplescity’s recycling and compost programs.  

Beyond chocolate, the evening featured a punchboard filled with donated prizes and a raffle with extravagant vacations. Funds raised through World of Chocolate support AFC’s work to mobilize communities to overcome health inequities and help people living with chronic illnesses like HIV thrive. Proceeds from the event will: 

  • Fuel AFC’s policy and advocacy efforts to make health equity a priority among lawmakers in Springfield and Washington 
  • Provide housing support, from temporary assistance to long-term homes, to 1,100 Chicagoans 
  • Enable more than 5,000 clients to receive case management services 
  • Build awareness about PrEP, a once-a-day pill that is up to 99% effective at protecting against HIV 
  • Launch Getting to Zero Illinois, a plan to end new HIV transmissions by 2030 while helping all Illinoisans have better access to care 

You can find a list of sponsors here. Event photos can be found here

Media contact: Charlie Rice-Minoso, PCI Communications on behalf of AFC

Categorized under AFC news and Special events.

Recommended Articles