Foodies feast for good cause at 26th annual Chocolate and Beyond

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Between 300 and 400 chocolate lovers and foodies alike enjoyed sampling various culinary sensations for a good cause on Saturday at the 26th annual Chocolate and Beyond event. 

Held at First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine and benefiting the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of St. Johns County, the March 2 event featured chocolates from chocolatiers such as Peterbrooke and Whetstone, as well as other culinary creations from restaurants such as Catch 27 and City Bistro. Produced by TASK (Teacher’s Aid for Student Knowledge), the food fest also featured a silent auction with items including hotel and restaurant gift certificates, sports memorabilia and admission tickets for local, fun attractions.

According to Cheryl Freeman, director of RSVP of St. Johns County, proceeds from the event allow RSVP to recruit, professionally train, place and recognize its nearly 150 volunteers throughout all 40 schools in St. Johns County, while supporting its 40,000 students and more than 2,500 instructional staff members. 

RSVP, said Freeman, consists of volunteers “55 years old and better” who address critical community needs, especially in education. The program includes mentors who work with youth facing challenging times in their lives, as well as tutors who work with students on academic advancement in reading and math. Volunteers also visit local preschool classrooms to assist in the Head Start preschool reading program. According to Freeman, RSVP additionally participates in one-time projects in the community. 

RSVP is a federally funded program under the Corporation for National and Community Service and is sponsored locally by the St. Johns County School District. For more information, contact Freeman at (904) 547-3952, or visit www.rsvpstjohns.com. 

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