Supporting the arts, decadently up front

  • Tuesday, September 3, 2013

By Ashley DesMarteau

About 10 years ago, in the middle of our wettest, darkest and downright dreariest winter in Portland, I talked my husband into going on a cruise. Both stressed with work, with raising three young boys and the weather was dragging us down. We were too exhausted to really have time with each other, so I thought this would be the perfect anniversary getaway.

I cherished each morning aboard our ship when the schedule of events for the day would discreetly slide under our door; I'd sit and plan a day filled with pampering, exercise or just time to relax. The idea of getting to pick and choose and plan my whole day was well worth the price of admission!

Not long after our return, the ports were a blur, salsa lessons long forgotten and the cruise wardrobe lives on only in photos we should probably tuck away in some scrapbook instead of displaying. Sadly, this potentially cultural and enriching experience was totally lost on me — what I remember most was the Chocolate Buffet! I couldn't have imagined anything dreamier than a ballroom filled with chocolate indulgence — I nearly had to pinch myself when it came to life before my very eyes in the Pacific Ocean, 100 miles off the coast of Mexico.

So after seeing the sign Chocolate Sunday event on Highway 17, I'm sure you understand why I nearly drove off the road! And then gathered my wits and drove directly to 922 Front Street, office of the Cultural Council of Georgetown County.

“This is the biggest undertaking in the history of Chocolate Sunday” said Cultural Council Executive Director Scott Jacobs. “It's growing — more auction items, more guild ladies involved, and more people expected to attend.” Scott said “the event raises money to enable us to contribute our youth arts initiative. We are primarily a youth-based organization, with youth scholarship programs and other out-of-school programs.”

Scott's previous experience at Brookgreen Gardens in membership and as the general manager for the Long Bay Symphony has provided him with a great skill set to lead the Cultural Council. He is energized by the new support coming in to the organization, and credits the increased visibility in part to the free community concert series. The organization partners with a number of community organizations and together promote art education throughout Georgetown County.

Chocolate Sunday is the signature event for the Cultural Council of Georgetown County, the first was back in 2008 and events have been held in private homes in Prince George and then last year the event moved to Georgetown. “This is the first time we're holding it at plantation home” and this year will be at the lovely Millbrook Plantation which was offered to the Cultural Council by Linda and Dan Ray.

Scott broke my heart a little bit when he explained that they're serving much more than just chocolate. “We have donated savory items, passed items and heavy hors d'oeuvres during the event. Litchfield Wine and Liquor has donated some great wines and chocolate martinis.” (Yum!)

The afternoon promises to be grand — with a lovely setting and desserts won't be the only temptation — silent auction items generously donated from businesses and individuals range from interior design services to golf packages. “We're very fortunate to have so many businesses supporting this event,” said Jacobs, and the group is hoping to top the $12,000 they netted last year from the event.

Support the Cultural Council of Georgetown County in delicious fashion on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 4-7 p.m. at Millbrook Plantation in the North Santee area. Event tickets are going almost as fast as chocolate does in my house-so y’all better hurry along and call 943-520-0744 to RSVP. Make it your business to keep it local.

Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

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