Chocolate Lovers Unite at “All Things Chocolate”

Whether you’re a chocolate lover or a history junkie, the Gibraltar Historical Association’s biggest annual fundraiser, All Things Chocolate, is the event for you.

Scheduled this year for Feb. 4, 10 am – 3 pm, during Fish Creek’s Winter Festival, the event began as the brainchild of the late former association president Eunice Rutherford, according to event coordinator Laurie Buske. After the organization had hosted some less-successful bake sales, it was Rutherford’s idea to switch tracks to chocolate.

So in 2014, Buske said, “We did this little banquet table with these chocolate desserts, and we sold almost everything, and we made, like, $300.”

The All Things Chocolate fundraiser was the brainchild of the late Eunice Rutherford. Photo courtesy of Laurie Buske.

Since then, All Things Chocolate has grown significantly in both size and popularity.

“We’re actually going to add a second line because the lines were so long in 2019,” Buske said. This year, expect two lines of banquet tables, making up about 50 feet worth of chocolate candies, brownies, cakes, bars and more.

Fish Creek Winterfest Schedule
Feb. 3-5
All events take place in Clark Park unless noted.
Feb. 3
DoCo Disco Night at Hands On Art Studio
Feb. 4
10 am – 6 pm: Main tent is open with food, beverages, music and games
10 am – 3 pm: Game booths are open
10 am – 3 pm: All Things Chocolate fundraiser for the Gibraltar Historical Association at the Old Town Hall
10 am – 5 pm: Winter Wine and Cherry Fest at Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery
11 am – 1 pm: Winterfest Cake Bake competition
11:30 am: Disc golf 
12:30 pm: Ice-rescue demonstration
1 pm: Cherry-pit spit at Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery
2 pm: Stumpf fiddle contest
3-5:30 pm: Bacchus Lotus plays
Feb. 5
10:30 am: Fruit Loop Fun Run (0.49-mile run)

As the size of the fundraiser has increased, the number of volunteers needed to staff it has increased, too. Now, about 20 people work on the day of the event to serve eager customers, after others have organized donations the day before, and still others will clean up the day after. And importantly, volunteer bakers and candy makers in the community, as well as local vendors and shop proprietors, donate all the treats on the tables.

After the pandemic forced the organization to put its fundraiser on hold for two years, Buske was worried that vendors and volunteers would have forgotten about it when it came time to tell them that All Things Chocolate was back on. But nobody had.

“Everyone I have called has been super excited and waiting for my call,” she said.

Buske was glad to hear it because the effort is especially important this year: The association is raising money to repair the floorboards of three porches that are starting to rot at Fish Creek’s historic Alexander Noble House.

In 2020, the line for the All Things Chocolate array snaked out the door. Photo courtesy of Laurie Buske.

Funding that mission provides a means to stock up on some delicious handmade goodies, but Buske said it also demonstrates how many community members are willing to donate their time, money and effort to help GHA.

“This a great sign that our community and membership are engaged in supporting history,” she said.

All Things Chocolate will return Feb. 4, 10 am – 3 pm, to Gibraltar’s Old Town Hall, 4176 Maple St. in Fish Creek.

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