I’m not a big fan of chocolate.
I don’t dislike chocolate; I just don’t like it as much as my wife and our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, do. They seem to have an obsession with the stuff. As far as my wife and Emma are concerned, there is nothing that can’t be improved with chocolate.
Sometimes, even a non-chocolate-obsessing person such as myself becomes tempted. When that happens, I will get up from the couch, walk into the kitchen, open the pantry door, pull out a handful of whatever chocolate we happen to have on the shelf, and take it back to the couch.
Later, my wife will walk into the living room and see me sitting on the couch.
“What are all those wrappers doing here?” she’ll ask.
“I don’t understand your question,” I will say.
I guess what I’m saying is that deep down, I like chocolate more than I think, which is why I feel qualified to help judge the upcoming Chocolate Extravaganza. It will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, 3535 John Q. Hammons Blvd. This is the second year for the Chocolate Extravaganza, which is a benefit for the Dream Team of Hospice Compassus.
Teresa Severs is the volunteer coordinator for Hospice Compassus. She said the Dream Team is made up of volunteers who work to turn dreams into realities for hospice patients. The Dream Team concept, Teresa said, is similar to the Make a Wish Foundation.
On Tuesday, Teresa and I chatted about the important work performed by the folks at Hospice Compassus. Teresa said the goal of the organization is to provide medical, emotional and spiritual support for terminally ill patients and their families. A typical hospice team is made up of medical staff members such as skilled nurses and aides, along with chaplains, social workers and volunteers. The nurses oversee the patient’s medical care, and the chaplains and social workers help with emotional and spiritual needs. The volunteers, Teresa said, are there to back up the professional staff.
“They might sit with a patient so the caregiver can run errands or simply take a break,” she said. “They also might visit a patient at their home or at a nursing home to simply provide a friendly face.”
I told Teresa that I imagine it’s impossible to describe the importance of the work done by the staff of volunteers with Hospice Compassus unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. I also told her that I can’t imagine how tough it is emotionally at times.
Teresa agreed that the hospice work is not a day at the beach, but she said the people with Hospice Compassus are able to find solace in their work.
“The satisfaction is walking away knowing you made a difference,” she said.
The Chocolate Extravaganza organizers are looking for chefs, restaurants, caterers, churches and civic groups to enter the Hospice Compassus chocolate challenge. The goal, organizers say, is to find “the most scrumptious, mouth-watering chocolate confections in the Four-State Area.”
If you would like take part in the challenge or make a donation to the Hospice Compassus Dream Team, you may call 417-623-8272.
Tickets to the event, which will allow folks to sample the chocolates in the competition, are $10. They may be purchased by calling 417-623-8272 or at the door on the day of the event.
DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.
I’m not a big fan of chocolate.
- Local News
Registration open for Joplin Family Y’s Chilly 5K Challenge
Participants are being sought for the fourth annual Chilly 5K Challenge, a key fundraiser for the Joplin Family YMCA. The 3.1-mile race will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Registration is available at the YMCA’s downtown and south locations or online at joplinfamilyy.org; the fee is $25. Race-day registration will be available from 9 to 10:30 a.m. only at the south branch, 3404 W. McIntosh Circle Drive.
Commencement exercises set for MSSU, PSU, Crowder College
Commencement ceremonies have been set for students who will graduate this month from local colleges and universities.
Ozone group to focus on issue awareness
The development of a voluntary clean air action plan for the Four-State Area was discussed at length Tuesday by members of a regional group that met at Joplin’s City Hall. The group was formed in response to air monitoring that shows the Joplin area has, in recent years, exceeded federal standards for ground-level ozone.
Mike Pound: Group honors Carver’s commitment to education
Perspective can be a great thing. On Tuesday, most area schools were closed because of the snow, and that was more than likely a good thing. The last thing anyone wants is to have thousands of kids trying to make it to school on streets and roads packed with ice and snow.
Baseball proposal draws support of city staff
Advisers to the Joplin City Council recommended Monday night that the council go forward with a proposal to bring a professional baseball team to Joplin. The El Paso (Texas) Diablos, an independent professional team, have proposed moving to Joplin because a Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres is moving into El Paso.
Carthage man’s death deemed suspicious
An 87-year-old man whose body was discovered inside his home Monday night may have been a victim of foul play, according to Carthage police. A neighbor checking on the well-being of Raymond R. Ritchhart made the discovery and called 911 at 6:04 p.m. The neighbor thought Ritchhart might have fallen.
Hundreds brave cold as train makes holiday stop in Joplin
Santas and trains were the attractions, and there were plenty of both on Tuesday when Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express stopped in Joplin. There was THE Santa, of course, along with train cars decorated for Christmas and filled with Santas, dolls and toys.
Parade postponed because of safety concerns
The slick condition of sidewalks and side streets after an overnight snowfall was the deciding factor leading to the postponement of the annual Joplin Christmas parade on Tuesday. It may be the first time that the Joplin Jaycees — longtime parade sponsors — have had to call off a parade because of weather conditions, said Casey Starnes, Jaycees president and chairman of the parade committee.
Joplin City Council moving forward with baseball deal
Drafting an agreement that would bring professional baseball to Joplin won City Council authorization at a special meeting Monday night. The council voted to have the city staff write a formal agreement defining the terms of a deal toward relocating the El Paso (Texas) Diablos to Joplin. That agreement may be presented as soon as next Monday if the city’s legal staff can finish it that soon, according to the discussion.
Medical community tradition: Two Haitian women receive surgical gifts
Beatrice Massier and Esther Julnide lined up their walkers Monday afternoon for a footrace of sorts. For these Haitian women, it would be one of the first times they would walk without a limp and without pain. Last week, they both received new right hips in surgeries performed at Premier Surgical Institute in Galena.
- More Local News Headlines
- Registration open for Joplin Family Y’s Chilly 5K Challenge