Tahoe SAFE Alliance raising bar for annual chocolate festival | SierraSun.com

Tahoe SAFE Alliance raising bar for annual chocolate festival

Special to the Bonanza

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, created Cuban-style confections for the 2012 Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival.

Since 1988, chocolate and wine fans throughout Tahoe, Truckee and beyond have supported Tahoe SAFE Alliance by attending the Tahoe Chocolate & Wine Festival.

Tickets are on sale now for this important fundraiser — and this year, attendees will be in for a real treat.

"After celebrating the event's 25th anniversary last year, we are making exciting changes to provide guests with a fresh experience," said Dawn Harris, event chair and development manager at Tahoe SAFE Alliance.

Two of the most notable changes tare the addition of a wine walk and tableside chocolate tasting. Ten boutique wineries from acclaimed California regions, including Napa, Amador, and Paso Robles, will be selected to feature their tasting showrooms throughout the wine walk.

Then, six of Lake Tahoe's finest culinary artists will serve their gourmet chocolate creations tableside along with their presentation of each delight.

"At past festivals, local chefs have continued to raise the 'chocolate bar,' so we are putting more emphasis on the creative talents of our chocolatiers," said Harris. "Having a seated tasting will provide our guests with an entertaining and unique experience."

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To further sweeten the evening, every ticket holder is entered into a free drawing for a four-night stay at Playa Viva, an eco-resort off the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Attendees can participate in raffle drawings to win trips, dinners and local recreation packages like skiing and golf.

In addition, featured at this year's event are two local celebrities: Channel 2 evening news anchor Wendy Damonte, who will emcee the event and host the chocolate-tasting portion, and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who is the guest speaker.

The annual event raises funds for Tahoe SAFE Alliance to support its vital programs, including the Mt. Rose Safe House, a community helpline, victim support services, legal advocacy, a comprehensive children's program and violence prevention education programs for school children, businesses and community members.

Last year, Tahoe SAFE Alliance served 787 community members and provided prevention education to a record 5,439 youth, business and adults.

The 26th Annual Tahoe Chocolate & Wine Festival will be held Nov. 8, 5:30-10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Grand Ballroom. Tickets are $125 in advance and $150 at the door. Tables of 10 are available for $1,250.

This article was submitted to the Bonanza by Tahoe SAFE Alliance, which has provided direct services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse since 1985. Learn more at tahoechocolatefestival.org or by calling 775-298-0010.