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CHOCOLATES like these from Annabelle's Chocolates in El Dorado, will be available at "A Chocolate Affair" on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. Democrat photos by Pat Dollins


Celebrate romance and good health

By From page B2 | February 06, 2013

What: “A Chocolate Affair”

Who: Soroptimist International — Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills and Placerville

Where: Forni Building at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville

When: Saturday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door

Information: or 530-344-1476

The history of Valentine’s Day has more than one version but there are some facts around this special day that are not in dispute.

February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and today’s St. Valentine’s Day contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

Americans will purchase about 58 million pounds of chocolate during the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Research published in the Chemistry Central Journal shows chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and contains more polyphenols and flavanols than fruit juice.

The researchers at the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition compared the antioxidant activity in cocoa powder and fruit powders and they found that, gram per gram, there was more antioxidant capacity, and a greater total flavanol content, in the cocoa powder.

They also compared the amount of antioxidants, per serving, of dark chocolate, cocoa, hot chocolate mix and fruit juices and found that both dark chocolate and cocoa had a greater antioxidant capacity and a greater total flavanol, and polyphenol, content than the fruit juices. However hot chocolate, due to processing (alkalization) of the chocolate, contained little of any.

The color for Valentine’s Day is red and studies have shown that drinking red wine in moderation can lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Red wine and chocolate are a great flavor pairing and both are good sources of disease fighting antioxidants.


Healthy and fun

This makes “A Chocolate Affair” the perfect event to have a healthy and happy time.

“A Chocolate Affair” is Saturday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Forni Building at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville.

Two local clubs of Soroptimist International — Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills and Placerville — will co-host the event, that benefits women, children, families, scholarships and grants.

Dave Bender, the charming weatherman for KOVR, CBS 13, will emcee the evening.


Food and drink

The evening will present a sampling of delicious foods from local restaurants, caterers, bakeries and chocolatiers.

More than a dozen wineries will be pouring tastings of award-winning El Dorado County wines and local brewers will offer samples.


Let the bidding begin

To add to the coffers there will be a silent and live auction.

Some of the great items up for bid are: a collection of fine wines; lodging at an ocean front condo in Gold Beach, Oregon; an additional time-share package with winners choice of Florida, Colorado, Spain and several sites in Mexico; golf packages; a boat ride; a mule pack ride; and a safari dinner for eight on April 20 at a local residence that houses a Smithsonian-like collection of wild game trophies.

Another special prize is the chance to bid on an airplane ride with Julie Clark of aviation’s Hall of Fame.

The two Soroptimist clubs raised over $29,000 at last year’s event. Proceeds are divided between the two clubs for distribution back into the community.



Past contributions have included: the Women’s Opportunity Award for returning students, the Ruby Award for community service and the Violet Richardson Award for citizenship.

Assistance was provided to: Center for Violence-free Relationships, Prom Boutique, Placerville Senior Center, Regional Sex-trafficking Awareness project, Helping Hands Fund, Show ‘N’ Shine Fly-in, and other worthy community projects.

Sponsorships and auction item donations of any size are always appreciated.



Tickets are $30 in advance. The pre-sale ends at noon on Friday, Feb. 8 and the tickets are $35 at the door, subject to availability.

Tickets are available at many location throughout El Dorado county.

In Cameron Park at: Cameron Park Florist, 3300 Coach Lane, Suite A1; Cameron Park Health Foods, 3342 Coach Lane; Sierra Vista Bank, 3311 Coach Lane; and Shingle Springs/Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce, 3300 Coach Lane, Suite B7.

In El Dorado at the Hartwick House, 6237 Pleasant Valley Road.

In El Dorado Hills at the California Welcome Center, 2085 Vine St., Suite 105 and Sandra D’s Fashion and Accessories, 3941 Park Drive, Suite 60.

In Placerville at: 49er Federal Credit Union, 225 Placerville Drive, River City Bank, 348 Main St. and Paint Spot, 1303 Broadway.

In Pollock Pines at Belle’s And Beau’s, 6100 Pony Express Trail.

In Shingle Springs at Paint Spot, 3965 A Durock Road.

Tickets may also be purchased by downloading an order form at or by calling 530-344-1476.

Mimi Escabar

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