Annual Chocolate Festival raises awareness for women’s health


CW/ Hannah Saad

Lizzie Bowen, Contributing Writer

A silent auction, baked goods and good causes were all a part of the eighth annual Chocolate Festival. This sugar-filled event provided a sweet start to Family Weekend. At the festival, students and families learned about health and well-being while participating in chocolate-centered activities.

The festival was hosted by the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) at Shelby Hall. Volunteers set up tables of desserts, which featured health information provided by the WGRC. According to their website, the center’s goal is to advocate for the safety and health of women, as well as aid survivors of assault and other crises. Nikhi Singh, a senior majoring in social work, worked the table for health problems dealing with sleeping and insomnia.

“It’s been a blast here so far,” Singh said. “We quiz people and ask them questions, then they get a cookie or a brownie afterwards.”

Maury Holliman, a volunteer for the WGRC, discussed different topics at the event and posed with Big Al, a special guest parading around during the festivities.

“This is all to advance health and education of women and give a broader perspective,” Holliman said. This event has been a hit at the University since the inaugural festival in 2011.

“This is another year of selling out of tickets, so we are so excited so many people want to join us today, and we have seen so many people enjoying delicious chocolate,” said Jackie Northrup, assistant director of the WGRC.

The proceeds from the event will benefit the victim services and outreach efforts at the WGRC.