Cocoa crazy

1012_JL_lititz209

Oh my my! You’ll think you’ve died and gone to Pennsylvania.

Story by Andrew McLaughlin | Photos by Jeff Lautenberger

You have to admit: If you want to attract patrons to a fundraiser, chocolate is a strong draw. Apologies to other Kiwanis clubs, but chocolate might just trump pancakes.

That’s perhaps why the Kiwanis Club of Lititz Area, Pennsylvania, has run its Lititz Chocolate Walk every October for 12 years now. Dubbed the “Chocolate for Charity” event, the Lititz Chocolate Walk showcases some of the region’s most talented chefs, chocolatiers and candymakers, who whip up cocoa confections to raise money for kids’ needs.

1012_JL_lititz114
The Kiwanis family can be found everywhere along Chocolate Walk, including chocolate craftsmen and checking tickets. The most important job—tasting samples—is managed by the 2,000 chocolate-stalking patrons.

“We will distribute more than US$50,000 from the 2013 walk,” says Lititz Area Kiwanian and Chocolate Walk Chairman Mark Freeman. “We hold a special evening every year where we invite our chocolate vendors to come and see what their efforts benefit.”

Some patrons call it “trick or treat for grown-ups.” Others just enjoy the chance to sample chocolate goodies and enjoy the ambience of Lititz, a 257-year-old town that’s packed with heritage—and apparently chocolate.

1012_JL_lititz131

“It’s a community event that brings people to town and gets them into our many eclectic shops,” Freeman says. “Our host retailers benefit tremendously. Many tell us they have one of their best days of the year on Chocolate Walk day. Some say it’s the unofficial kickoff for the holiday season in Lititz.”

The club shares its success, helping other communities organize similar events. A nearby retirement center now runs a “chocolate stroll” each winter, but the club’s event reigns supreme in the region.

“During our third walk in 2004, we had a torrential downpour, and it did not slow things down,” Freeman says. “No one complained. They were all focused on the chocolate. That was the year we knew we had something special.”


Click here to watch a video about the Lititz Chocolate Walk


1012_JL_lititz126

This story originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Kiwanis magazine.

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s