MT. VERNON — Tickets are still available for the 26th annual Healthcare Foundation Ball, which begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.
The event will feature a chocolate contest, silent and oral auctions, dinner and musical entertainment provided by the group SMASH. Tickets are $75 each.
The ball is one of the major fundraisers of the year for The Healthcare Foundation, a non-profit agency based in Carlyle that helps the less fortunate in this region meet their medical needs.
Gay Zurliene, executive director of the foundation, said the event typically raises between $15,000 and $20,000. Roughly 200 people are expected to attend this year.
“It’s one of our main fundraisers we have to do,” Zurliene said.
Organizers say the chocolate contest has always been a highlight of the ball.
As part of the competition, the general public is invited to submit chocolate desserts, which are then judged in two categories — gourmet/most creative and family favorites.
Entries in the gourmet category must be made from scratch. However, family favorite entries can be made using a cake mix.
First and second place winners are selected in each category. All four winners receive a monetary gift.
The most common type of dessert submitted for the contest is cake, but other kinds of chocolate dishes are allowed as well, including bon-bons and cupcakes.
“It’s a variety of different chocolate desserts,” said Jo Ann Bain, co-chairman of the chocolate contest.
Judges will begin evaluating the chocolate desserts at around 4:45 to 5 p.m. Saturday. After that, a social hour will be held and the silent auction commences at 6 p.m.
Oral auctions will take place before dinner, which is served at 7 p.m. that evening. The chocolate desserts from the contest will be available to the public during dinner.
Finally, dancing to the music of SMASH begins at around 8:30 p.m.