Hospice Dufferin partnering with businesses for Hot Chocolate Festival

February 2, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

In the middle of winter, is there any better way to beat the cold of the season than a cup of hot chocolate?

Hospice Dufferin has partnered with several restaurants and cafes in the area to host the Hot Chocolate Festival, a month-long event to help raise funds to support the organization’s programs and services.

“We created the Hot Chocolate Festival because we felt that there’s these synergies within the business community, especially that they’re the biggest supporters of charities. So, this was a way for us to give back to them by helping promote a place for people to go and experience businesses in the community,” explained RaDeana Montgomery, Hospice Dufferin’s resource development communication coordinator. “At the same time, they’re actually giving back to us. It’s a subtle way of giving back to an organization without having to make a donation.”

Throughout the entire month of February, eight local restaurants and cafes will feature their own signature drink as part of the Hot Chocolate Festival. For every sale of the signature drink, $1 will be donated back to Hospice Dufferin. 

“Hot chocolate is a staple in the winter. There’s the good old fashion hot chocolate, but I do know that our restaurants and cafes are coming up with a variety of different types of hot chocolate,” said Montgomery.

While Hospice Dufferin receives around 60 per cent of their annual funding from the government, the remainder of funds are raised through community support. Funding from the festival will go towards supporting Hospice Dufferin programs such as art therapy, journaling, exercise, crafting, leisure land, and meditation.

“We’re a community hospice, which means we work within the community, we work with people in their homes, if they go to hospital or go to another hospice, and if they come into our location. Our wellness programs are programs that help create positive feelings and help people stay active, which is really important on their journey through hospice,” said Montgomery. “By raising this money, we’re able to do these programs for free so that people who come to us don’t have to pay.”

According to Hospice Dufferin, in 2022, the organization supported 305 clients in Dufferin County and provided over 3,279 sessions of service.

“We are all touched by hospice care. Unfortunately, through life, we will either experience a life limiting illness or will know somebody with life limiting illness. We all will experience grief at some point in our lives, whether it’s a loss of a family member, a friend or a pet,” said Montgomery.

As part of the Hot Chocolate Festival, patrons and tasters will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite hot chocolates. At the end of the festival, the restaurant or café with the most popular hot chocolate will be crowned the winner of the “Best Hot Chocolate Recipe”.

The local businesses taking part in the festival include Mochaberry Café & Roastery, Bluebird Café &Grill, Mono Cliffs Inn, Le Finis, Boston Pizza, Nifty Nook, Jess For You Café and Baked Goods, and Déjà vu Diner.

Montgomery said they are encouraging those who try a hot chocolate from the participating businesses to share their thoughts through social media.

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