History of Month of Chocolate

1st Chocolate Fest

February 7, 1998

1st Chocolate Fest

Founded by Julie Dailey who was an employee for Options for Better Living, and was asked to create a signature fund-raising event. That request resulted in the first, and surprisingly successful, Chocolate Fest! The one-day event included a chocolate cooking and tasting events that drew in 200 visitors and raised about $2,000.

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3rd Annual Chocolate Fest

February 12, 2000

3rd Annual Chocolate Fest

 Options for Better Living 3rd Annual Chocolate Fest at the Convention Center of Monroe County- Bloomington, and had an attendance of more than 500 people to sample prize-winning chocolate snacks! At this time Options for Better Living served about 150 people throughout seven counties and had about 170 employees.

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7th Annual Chocolate Fest

February 7, 2004

7th Annual Chocolate Fest

Options for Better Living hosted the Chocolate Fest at the Bloomington Convention Center with activities for everyone of all ages to enjoy! This was the first Chocolate Fest to include a silent auction for kids in between viewings of Finding Nemo and Harry Potter. There was even a donated TV so visitors could watch the IU vs. Iowa game! 

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10th Annual Chocolate Fest

February 3, 2007

10th Annual Chocolate Fest

The eight-day Week of Chocolate included seven events held by the host Options for Better Living and other local organizations. The Chocolate Fest was the final event of the week and hosted more than 2,000 people to taste a variety of chocolates, desserts, and even some local wines and beers. The festival raised around $25,000, which was fitting for Options for Better Living’s 25th Anniversary!   

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1st WOC as LIFEDesigns

February 4, 2012

1st WOC as LIFEDesigns

2012 was the first Week of Chocolate hosted by the newly merged Options and Christole organization called LIFEDesigns! The Week of Chocolate consisted of eight other local agencies hosting events, and the LIFEDesigns Art of Chocolate dinner and silent auction.

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Local Businesses join Month of Chocolate

February 20, 2016

Local Businesses join Month of Chocolate

In 2016, for-profit businesses were invited to host events benefiting a nonprofit during a month-long event called the Month of Chocolate with LIFEDesigns‘ signature event being the Art of Chocolate.

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Laissez les bon temps rouler!

February 17, 2018

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

In 2018, during the Month of Chocolate restaurants started featuring chocolate desserts or cocktails as a stop on a Chocolate Passport for participants to redeem a free box of chocolates.

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2020 Month of Chocolate

February 22, 2020

2020 Month of Chocolate

The 2020 Art of Chocolate and Month of Chocolate were the final LIFEDesigns major events to take place before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2021 Month of Chocolate

March 1, 2021

2021 Month of Chocolate

What a month! We want to give a HUGE “Thank You” to everyone who supported the Month of Chocolate this year, especially our sponsors, auction item donors, event hosts, event attendees, volunteers, and employees who dedicated their time to help with this special event. As our first virtual Month of Chocolate we are thrilled to report that a net profit of $20,895 was raised for individuals with disabilities! A few highlights from the 2021 Month of Chocolate: We were able to decrease our overall expenses by hosting almost all events virtually We started a new virtual tasting event that received great feedback (and will hopefully happen more throughout the year!) Although we have not been able to gather in person, many of our employees and clients have spent more time together through our virtual learning programs where they…

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