24th Chocolate on the Levee

The heady aroma of chocolate was in the air at the Levee House on Ohio Street in Marietta during the 24th annual Chocolate on the Levee fundraiser Sunday afternoon.

“This is awesome-and I really like fudge,” said Lydia Arnett, 11, of Belpre as she made a selection from tables laden with candy, cookies, cakes, and other chocolate delights.

Her grandmother, Alice Shanks of Coolville, said this was their first time at the event.

“I’ve always thought about coming, but never made it,” Shanks said. “This year my daughter invited us along.”

The fundraiser benefits EVE Inc., a local shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“The shelter houses several moms with their children, too,” noted EVE board member Sharon Coffman.

She said the annual Chocolate on the Levee provides needed operational funding.

“This is our second-biggest fundraiser, next to our annual auction every August-and the monies help offset expenses that aren’t covered by some of the grant funding we receive,” Coffman said.

Alane Sanders of Marietta was also a newcomer to Sunday’s event.

“But I know a lot of people who have benefitted from the EVE shelter, so I thought I would come and be part of it this year,” she said.

Her friend, Sarah Hudler of Columbus, was also experiencing her first Chocolate on the Levee Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a great way to enjoy some chocolate and help people at the same time,” she said.

Coolville resident Carissa Anderson invited Sanders and Hudler to the fundraiser after the three had dinner together.

“I used to be a member of the Zonta Club and helped serve chocolate here for three or four years,” she said. “If you can combine chocolate and a great cause like this, it’s a win-win situation.”

EVE Inc. board member Molly Varner said this year’s event raised more than $2,000 for the shelter.

“We’re very pleased,” she said. “We had a great crowd at the Levee House this year, and several people gave more than the admission price for this event. It just shows the good will and support we enjoy from the community every year, and we’re very proud of that.”