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I Found My Thrill on Chochoholic Hill

The editor discovers that chocolate truly IS the key to happiness (at least for a few hours a year).

On Friday night, I skipped my vegetables and went straight for the chocolate.

Who needs a proper meal when someone is offering you truffles and Champagne....and fudge....and ice cream....and cupcakes....and little balls of caramel rolled in chocolate....and handmade confections in frilly white wrappers? No matter your taste, there was someone at the Chocolate Fest Friday evening generously offering me things I could only have dreamed of as a child (or a pregnant woman).

And I wasn't alone.

There's nothing---not even the anticipation of TWO baseball teams in the playoffs---that can cast a spell of happiness over a crowd quite like the promise of unending chocolate. And unending chocolate is, of course, the theme for the 30th annual Chocolate Fest continuing today at the Congregational Church of Belmont--known for two days a year as the "Chocolate Church."

And as if the sheer indulgence of the chocloate wasn't enough, guests had the added benefit (and perhaps some guilt-relief) knowing that the proceeds from the annual event benefit local charities including Home & Hope Hospitality Network, Second Harvest, Samaritan House and Pets in Need.

Among the chocolate specialists participating this year are  A-Lot-A Gelato and More, Cheryl’s Cookies, Emay’s Sweet Shop, Glinda’s Fudge, It’s It!, Guittard Chocolate Co., Kathy's Kreative Kakes, Jade’s Chocolates, Lunardi’s Bakery, Bud’s Ice Cream/Berkeley Farms, Schurra's Candy Factory, Trader Joe’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Naughty Biscotti and Sharona’s Chocolate Shop.

Michael Medwid’s Jazz Ensemble will play at each session which will also feature door prizes, Champagne and gourmet coffee provided by Beneficio More-Than-Fair-Trade Coffee.

And if you missed last's opening session, don't worry, there's still plenty of chocolate to be had today:

Session 2, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Sat., Oct. 6; and Session 3, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Sat., Oct. 6.

Tickets for the afternoon session are $17.50 pre-sale or $20 at the door; in the evening, tickets are $22.50 pre-sale or $25 at the door. Children and seniors will be admitted for $15 in the afternoon.

Order online at http://www.uccbelmont.org/events.html or call 650-593-4547.

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