A 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.
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 city’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:
Media contact: Charlie Rice-Minoso, PCI Communications on behalf of AFC