A Chocolate Affair, an annual fundraiser for People Assisting the Homeless, proved a desirable ticket at Piñon Hills Community Church.
The event drew approximately 500 attendees and the scene was one of barely controlled chocolate consumption. Friends eyed each other's plates for recommendations, and long lines produced jealous glances.
A Chocolate Affair was held to benefit PATH's operating expenses. PATH operates a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Farmington. The shelter housed 752 homeless individuals and the Daily Bread soup kitchen served 35,150 meals during its most recent fiscal year. The organization was hoping to raise $25,000 at the event.
The Daily Times was among the event's sponsors. Publisher John Elchert served as master of ceremonies.
The treats laid out in the church's auditorium ran from the traditional to the eyebrow-raising.
"Oh my gosh," Marcia Craig of Farmington said when asked which treats she enjoyed the most. "So far, the chocolate-drizzled croissants and the chocolate-dipped strawberries."
Blue Moon Diner, a venerable local establishment, brought a simple crowd-pleaser: chocolate ice cream.
"Not very many people don't like ice cream," explained Angelia Heath, an assistant manager at the 20th Street diner.
San Juan Country Club went out on a limb — or a loin — with its chocolate-rubbed pork tenderloin.
"We're trying to do something different," Executive Chef Heath Van Riper said. "It definitely raises people's eyes."
Si Señor brought red chile pork with homemade tortillas — no chocolate involved. The restaurant donates food each week to PATH's needy clients, manager Anita Graciano said.
Erin Mirabal of Brown Bag Bakery in Aztec brought chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream and chocolate-filled croissants.
St. Clair Winery and Bistro handed out chocolate port brownies, made with Ghirardelli chocolate and port wine.
"You can get a little shot of chocolate and a little shot of wine at the same time," said Damon Hebert, manager at St. Clair's.
PATH saw a 22 percent annual increase in demand for homeless housing, Executive Director Sharpe said.
PATH plans to move into a new shelter, named A Path Home, to be built at 520 Hydro Plant Rd. in Farmington. The 13,600-square-foot facility is estimated to cost $3 million.
It will house a new 60-bed homeless shelter and 12-unit transitional living facility.