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Home of Hopes Annual Chocolate Affair Drive-Through Event Postponed to March 3

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Traffic Flow Map

This map shows the traffic flow for the Home of Hope's 14th annual Chocolate Affair on SAFARI drive-through event on Wednesday, March 3.

Even in this mask-wearing, social-distancing age of pandemic, Home of Hope has found a “sweet” way to hold its popular annual fundraiser, Chocolate Affair.

Featuring all the same great vendors, scrumptious food and fun it is known for, Vinita’s sweetest fundraiser will be transformed into a drive-through event this year. Organizers have also adopted a safari-theme to add to the fun.

Due to inclement weather, the Home of Hope has postponed its 14th annual Chocolate Affair on SAFARI until Wednesday, March 3, from its originally scheduled date of Feb. 10.

“As excited as we are about this event, everyone’s well-being is our top priority and we do not want to take any chances with the safety of our attendees, vendors or staff,” said Ralph Richardson, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Home of Hope. “We appreciate all of your incredible support and we hope you can still participate in the Chocolate Affair on SAFARI on March 3. All tickets purchased will be honored on the new date.”

The drive-through event will allow everyone to safely maintain their distance without missing out on any of the fabulous food and fun. From 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, Chocolate Affair on SAFARI attendees will pull in off Highway 66 and come through the first entrance of the Home of Hope’s Administrative Building, 226 W. Dwain Willis Ave.

Tickets will be taken and attendees will then be directed to the pickup area in front of the building where each attendee will receive their goody box or boxes, depending on how many tickets were purchased.

Keeping with the safari theme, a selection of exotic animals from Oasis Animal Adventures will be on the front lawn for attendees to view as they drive through the event.

The Vinita Police Department will be on-hand to assist with congestion and help manage the traffic flow. Attendees will need to have their tickets ready. Tickets purchased at the event will need to be paid for with cash.

CDC guidelines will be followed throughout the event. All participants must wear a mask to enter and it must be worn throughout the drive-through. Participants will also remain in their vehicle throughout the event.

A dessert lover’s dream, the Chocolate Affair always features a sumptuous array of chocolate delights prepared by a number of the finest restaurants, caterers, speciality shops and wineries in Vinita and the Grand Lake area. In past years, vendors provided delicious samples of chocolate and other tasty treats to attendees.

Because this year’s much-anticipated annual chocolate tasting event is a drive-through, an array of goodies, including chocolate delights and other food items, will be assembled in a special treat box and given to attendees to take with them.

The goody box will contain 13 items from 10 different vendors:

  • Hot fudge Lasagna, Double-Chocolate Cherry Cookie and Chocolate No-Bake Cookie, Integris Vinita
  • Valentine Snack Mix and Fudge, Vinita FFA
  • Cake Balls and Cold Brew Coffee, The Coffee Shelter
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies, Shangri-La Resort
  • Chocolate Cake, The Artichoke
  • BBQ Baked Beans with Pulled Pork, Home of Hope
  • Campfire Cones, Centsible Spending
  • Chocolate-Covered Pecans, Miller Pecan Company
  • BBQ Brisket, Bradford’s BBQ

In keeping with the event’s socially distanced approach, the Chocolate Affair on SAFARI’s silent auction is being held online. Organizers have collected a number of items, including gift baskets and individual items offering something for everyone. Bidding ends at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 10, so get your bids in.

Auction winners will be notified by email immediately following the auction's close to schedule pick up of the prizes. In addition to paying online, winners will also be able to pay onsite at the event with cash, credit or check. If you pay online, be sure to bring your receipt to pick up your winnings. Contact Shelby Stewart, Home of Hope marketing and development coordinator, at (918) 256-7825 ext. 168, with any questions pertaining to the silent auction.

Chocolate Affair on SAFARI attendees are also invited to enter a raffle for the chance to win a private fishing trip for you and five friends on GRDA’s trophy Smallmouth pond and for two (2) spa services at Shangri-La Resort and Spa. Raffle tickets ($1 per raffle ticket or $10 for 15 tickets) are available at the admission ticket locations below. The raffle drawing will be held on March 3.

Advance tickets for the Chocolate Affair on SAFARI are $10 and can be purchased at Vinita Centsible Spending, Clanton’s Cafe, Home of Hope Administrative offices, Lucille’s Flowers and the Vinita Daily Journal.

Tickets will be $20 on the night of the event. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged to allow organizers and vendors to know how many attendees to expect.

The Chocolate Affair on SAFARI is an annual fundraiser for Home of Hope, a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides residential, vocational and quality of life programs to persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities across northeast Oklahoma.

Established in 1968, Home of Hope Inc. has operations in Vinita, Jay, Miami, Claremore, Grove and Pryor. In addition to serving more than 250 adults with developmental and other disabilities, Home of Hope employs more than 600 staff members.

Anyone with questions or who purchased tickets but cannot attend on the new date, should contact Shelby Stewart, Home of Hope marketing and development coordinator, at (918) 256-7825 ext. 168.

Donations can also be sent to Chocolate Affair c/o Home of Hope, Inc., P.O. Box 903, Vinita, OK 74301. All donations are tax deductible as allowable by the Internal Revenue Service. Receipts will be provided.

For event and ticket information, call (918) 256-7825, ext. 168.


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