Central Ohio Technical College banner ad

Chocolate Extravaganza now in its 25th year

| February 8, 2017

COSHOCTON – The Chocolate Extravaganza has become a tradition where couples and families alike celebrate Valentine’s Day by sampling some of the best chocolate desserts the county has to offer. This is the biggest fundraiser for the Pomerene Center for the Arts and will be held this year on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Coshocton County Career Center.

“You would think after 25 years, people would be getting tired of the event, but that doesn’t seem to be the case,” said Anne Cornell, director of the Pomerene Center for the Arts. “They keep coming, even in the middle of winter.”

The first Chocolate Extravaganza was held at the Pomerene Center for the Arts and tickets were $5 for five desserts. Chocolate desserts were set up in two rooms in the Pomerene Center and guests had to get their chocolate and leave as there was no room to sit.

There is a small group of people who have been involved since the very beginning of the Chocolate Extravaganza in one way or another. One such person is Mike Abood.

“Mike Abood has been one of our greatest supporters over the years and everyone always fights over his raspberry chocolate cheesecake,” said Mickie Galajda. “He also has baked for the raffle.”

One year, the Chocolate Extravaganza was held in conjunction with the Big Band Sweetheart Dance at Lake Park. It was then moved to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, but it quickly outgrew the place. It has been at the Career Center for at least four years.

“We find it a good venue because it provides a wonderful kitchen, a wonderful dining area, and great parking,” said Galajda. “The staff there is wonderful. What has evolved from the beginning is wonderful. I call them the Chocolate X Team. It’s no longer a one-person show. It’s a group of people who make this happen.”

The Chocolate X Team consists of Donovan Rice, Anne Cornell, Laura Kenny, Sheila McConnell, and Jill Fry. The kitchen crew at the Career Center also cuts desserts and helps the set up and tear down every year. Youth volunteers will also be there to help set up and tear down.

As always, there will be three sections set up where attendees can choose their favorite desserts from each category. A $10 ticket gets you one choice from the cheesecakes and pies table, one dessert from the cakes and tortes table, and three pieces from the Sweet Treat table which features cupcakes, cookies, candy, and brownies. There are about 80 – 100 people who bake for the event every year.

“If we didn’t have people willing to make these wonderful chocolate desserts, we couldn’t do it,” said Galajda. “We’re really blessed to have such great support. The people who bake for us are amazing. They are culinary artists.”

One of those bakers is Jon Cotterman, who has baked for the event for the past four years. He usually bakes biscotti, tortes, cookies, or brownies. He is a self-taught baker and also enjoys making various types of pizza in his spare time.

“I like the excitement of seeing how the stuff is going to work out and I love to have people over and cook dinner for them,” he said. “I get that from my mother.”

Cotterman said he looks forward to the Chocolate Extravaganza each year and loves to see what everyone else has created.

“It’s a great event,” he said. “There’s a certain amount of envy when I go in there and see what other people have done. I wish I had the time and talent to do what these people have done. It’s amazing the amount of people who come to the event and bake for the event.”

Galajda also bakes for the Chocolate Extravaganza.

“My favorite part about the event is baking,” said Galajda. “I will always bake for them as long as I am able. I love experimenting with different desserts. I love the creative part of it. When you bake for the Chocolate Extravaganza, it is the end result of how it looks that’s important and I don’t have a clue how they taste. They look beautiful, so I hope they taste good.”

Desserts are served in a take-out box so guests have the opportunity to leave after getting their chocolate or stay and enjoy the music and try your luck at the raffles. New this year will be a Valentine’s Day quilt by Marsha Cusin that will be raffled.

“The whole purpose is to raise funds for the Pomerene Center for the Arts,” said Galajda. “The community is blessed to be given this old house to use as a prime spot for art venues, weddings, and dinners.”

To help wash all that chocolate down, the Chocolate Extravaganza will also serve punch, milk, and coffee. If that’s not enough chocolate for you, there will be the ever-popular white chocolate popcorn on each table to munch on.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased on the Pomerene Center for the Arts website or at Baker’s Foods, Dean’s Jewelry, Mercantile on Main, and Medbery Marketplace.

Sponsors of the event are Coshocton Regional Medical Center, Dean’s Jewelry, Endsley Insurance Agency, Wayne Insurance Group, Roscoe Village Sweets & Treats, Frase, Weir, Baker & McCullough Co., LPA, Rainbow Hills Vineyard, Warehouse Steak ‘n Stein, and Wilson, Phillips, and Agin, CPA’s Inc.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

Comments are closed.