An abundance of chocolate will soon makes its way to Bremen as the Bremen Junior Woman’s Club is sponsoring the 4th annual Taste of Chocolate at Sewell Mill this Saturday, March 2.
Expect a chocolate sensory overload, because these ladies are gearing up to make every chocolate lover’s dreams come true. Gail Cantrell, Preliminary Advisor of the local venue, says that the affair will be an event to remember.
“The Taste of Chocolate is a chocolate buffet,” says Cantrell. “We have about 20 to 25 chocolate items, and you just go in and eat chocolate until you’re sick,” she laughed.
Gail lists some of the delicious indulgences debuting at the event, all lovingly prepared by the ladies of the Bremen Junior Woman’s Club along with a few important sponsors.
“All the desserts are homemade,” Cantrell explains, as she begins her list of mouth-watering desserts. “It might be peanut butter balls. It might be German chocolate cupcakes, raspberry chocolate torte, and a chocolate fountain. We’ll have cherries, angel food cake, pretzels and marshmallows that you can dip into the chocolate fountain.”
The best thing, however, about the Taste of Chocolate is the fact that all proceeds go to benefit the Haralson County Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. Eating chocolate at this event makes it possible for little ones to embark on a life-long love affair with the written word.
The Bremen Junior Woman’s Club hopes to donate at least $1,000 to the Ferst Foundation, so Haralson County children from birth to 5 years old can enjoy books of their own. Cantrell notes that she has a 6-month-old grandson who receives books each month in the mail, so she is not a stranger to the benefits of the program.
“You can sign your child up when they’re born,” she explains, “and from birth to age 5, they will receive one book a month in the mail. It costs $28 dollars per child per year. So the Ferst Foundation has to raise more than $28,000 a year to fund this because if we don’t have enough money to pay for it, then the child doesn’t get a book that month. The fund-raising is really ongoing.”
There are many different kinds of hardcover books that the children receive, but all of the titles are age appropriate. A few of the titles Cantrell lists are classics, such as “The Little Engine that Could,” as well as the popular “Officer Buckle and Gloria.”
“This is about getting people to read,” says Cantrell.
Getting people to read is especially important to Betty Candler, Director of GED classes in Bremen, who says childhood literacy is a cause that needs to be pressed upon parents as one of upmost importance.
“Personally, I think the benefits of reading to a child at an early age are beyond measure. Parents reading to their kids has an absolute effect on the child learning to read, as well as the voice the child develops as they read to themselves in their head.”
Candler calls this inner voice the “little actor or actress” inside a child’s head, and says that the vivacity of the actor depends on how the parent reads to the child. The joy of the voice, then, directly relates to the joy a child correlates with reading as he or she grows up.
“We have a lot of children who can read words on the page, but they don’t have that little actor in their heads,” says Candler. She explains what a problem it poses for the child, who could become embarrassed to read in front of the classroom, and also later in life.
An even more sobering fact is that, as Candler points out, “Ultimately, childhood literacy affects whether or not a person will drop out of school.”
A quick glance at the web-site for the Ferst Foundation confirms Candler’s fears: Many states look at literacy statistics and decide how many jail cells they will build according to how many students are reading at grade level ... in the 3rd grade.
So, of course, childhood literacy and support for the Ferst Foundation is something anyone in any community can get behind. To show your support for the Ferst Foundation, purchase your tickets for the Taste of Chocolate at $10. The event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at Sewell Mill in Bremen. For more information, contact Cantrell at 770-537-4761.