Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic is appreciative of the community support making this our most profitable Chocolate Festival ever -- kudos! This year's event will prove to be the most profitable in its 13-year history, with more than 700 people attending. These funds will be used for the operating costs of the CCMC in its mission to improve the quality of life of the needy in the Hot Springs community. We want to recognize those who gave time, money, chocolates and facilities to make the festival a success. We would like to recognize key contributors to the festival as follows:
Chocolate Festival Committee: Lynn Blankenship, executive director, Mike Davidson, Marina Mueller, Kurt Schatzl, Nate Gard, Lauri Adams, Tina McBride, Steve Thacker, Jill LaComfora and Becca Clark.
Embassy Suites: hosting this event for the 13th year: Kurt Schatzl, general manager.
Sponsorship donors: Champagne Truffle: Robert and Vikki Tankersley; Chocolate Torte: KYE-YAC; Chocolate Bon Bon: Robert and Marsha Arledge Jr., Jane Howard Foundation, Levi Hospital, National Park Medical Center; Chocolate Ganache: Allen Tillery, CHI St. Vincent, First Security Bank, Oaklawn Jockey Club, Red Oak Ridge; Chocolate Mousse: Alliance Rubber, Bancorp South, Irvin & Evea Bainum Foundation, Genesis Cancer Center, Gross Funeral Home, Harp's Food, Morris Foundation, Regions Bank, Relyance Bank, Richard Goodman, StarTek, Weyerhaeuser, Simmons Bank, Munro Foundation.
Vendors: Arlington Hotel, Bistro 400, Bleu Monkey Grill, Bliss Cupcakes, Brick House Grill, CHI St. Vincent, Dolce Gelato, Don Juan's, Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcakes, Hotel Hot Springs, Kilwin's, Magic Springs, Pour Some Sugar on Me, NPC Hospitality and Tourism Program, Quarter's Café, Spa Botanica.
Services donors: All-Star Awards, Quality Plus Printers, Seiz Sign Co., The Sentinel-Record, Mountain Valley Water.
Judges: Brad Hudgens, lead judge; Lori Donnor, Kye Masino, Chris Franklin and Michelle Ratcliff.
Silent auction donations -- There were 125 donated gifts for the silent and live auctions.
Other: Ken Goodman, emcee, Fun City Barbershop Quartet, Paul Shepard, photographer, and the many volunteers.
A special note of gratitude to the Chocolatiers who participated in the competition and to the bakers and confectioners who made sweet treats to share with the crowd, with special recognition to the winners in the following categories: Best Taste: Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcakes; Best of Show: Bliss Cupcakes; there was a tie for People's Choice: National Park College Hospitality and Tourism Program, and Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcakes.
Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered and participated in the festivities.
Dr. John Wayne Smith
Editorial on 02/15/2017