Blizzard conditions don’t keep hungry festival-goers away from Chocolate Fest

Lheanna Harns of Richmond, VA, teaches Johanna Atchison, 9, of Moneta, VA, a little “Heart and Soul” duet on the newly debuted piano at Lewisburg City Hall. (Sarah Mansheim photo)
Lheanna Harns of Richmond, VA, teaches Johanna Atchison, 9, of Moneta, VA, a little “Heart and Soul” duet on the newly debuted piano at Lewisburg City Hall. (Sarah Mansheim photo)
A showcase display at Harmony Ridge Gallery, created by Greenbrier Sporting Club Executive Pastry Chef Amy Mills, featured a spring scene of blooming flowers, replete with caterpillars, bumble bees and spiders, all made of chocolate. (Sarah Mansheim photo)
A showcase display at Harmony Ridge Gallery, created by Greenbrier Sporting Club Executive Pastry Chef Amy Mills, featured a spring scene of blooming flowers, replete with caterpillars, bumble bees and spiders, all made of chocolate. (Sarah Mansheim photo)

pleased with the turnout.With tasting tickets costing $1 each, $35,490 was raised, which means over 35,000 tastings were doled out on Saturday. Combining ticket sales with merchandise and sponsorships, the event raised a total of $41,195, a portion of which will go to the festival’s beneficiary, the United Way of the Greenbrier Valley.
“The committee and I were overall quite pleased with the turnout, despite the unfavorable weather. It was great to see so many folks come out to enjoy our little town and indulge in sweet treats. Big thanks to the planning committee, sponsors, and festival-goers. I’m looking forward to next year already – I’m convinced it’ll be a gorgeous day!” said United Way of the Greenbrier Valley Executive Director Erin Hurst.
One festival highlight was the unveiling of the newly painted piano next to city hall. Casielle Donahue, a student at Greenbrier East High School, was the winning entry for the piano painting contest. Her design is based on a celestial pattern, and features constellations across the front of the piano. She spent several hours in the evenings working on the design. Also contributing to the restoration project was Maggie Jusiel who donated her time to tune the piano and install a dehumidifier to prolong the life of the piano.
Lynn Creamer, chairman of the Cultural Arts Roundtable presented the idea of having a piano painting contest. Courtney Smith of the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation partnered on the event with a donation of $100 prize money to the contest winner. The City of Lewisburg paid for the cost of the materials Donahue used in painting the piano.
All day, amongst the crowds, snow and wind, people stopped to take a break at the “Mystery Piano,” banging out a song or two before heading back into the shops to sample more sweets.

 

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