Decadent treats to tempt attendees Feb. 11 at Trinity Episcopal

Courtesy Photos Chocolate cakes, cookies and many more treats await attendees at a previous Chocolate Extravaganza at Trinity Episcopal Church in Alpena.

ALPENA — Two years is too long to go without a chocolate celebration, but Chocolate Extravaganza is back on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, and strategically planned to fall before the Lenten season begins, Chocolate Extravaganza is a 20-plus-year tradition that offers attendees an array of sweet treats while raising money for a scholarship fund.

For $15 per person, attendees can come in between 2 and 4 p.m. and fellowship with others while enjoying chocolate cheesecakes, truffles, trifles, mousse, and more. If you’d rather, you can fill up a to-go box for $15 to take home with you.

All the proceeds go to a scholarship fund through Trinity Episcopal Church.

“It hasn’t happened since 2020,” said Ellen Eagan, who started the event in 2000. “We were able to hold it about six weeks before COVID really broke out and they closed things down.”

Delectable goodies await visitors at a previous Chocolate Extravaganza.

That makes this year’s event the 21st Chocolate Extravaganza.

Eagan said she and her friends who love chocolate join in to bake the decadent treats, and a group of volunteers come together to decorate and organize the event to make it welcoming and fun.

“The proceeds go toward college scholarships for kids who are associated with our parish,” Eagan explained.

Over the years, the scholarships have helped those that otherwise would not have had the means to attend college.

“Education can be absolutely life-changing,” Eagan said, adding that holding the Chocolate Extravaganza is a fun way to raise money to help students achieve their goals.

The tables are filled with tempting treats at previous Chocolate Extravaganza events.

Now retired, Eagan taught at Alpena Community College. She has always loved chocolate and even handed it out during tests.

“I think that chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures,” Eagan said. “It’s even sort of interesting that chocolate melts in your mouth at just about your body temperature. In fact, when I taught at the college, I always handed out unlimited chocolate during tests. I would joke and say that even if they failed it, they would find it pleasurable as that chocolate slithered down their throats. I was known for handing out vast quantities of chocolate during tests.”

Food relaxes you ­– especially good food.

“All of my supposed good works involve food,” she said with a laugh, as she has also been instrumental in the Sunday Supper ministry at Trinity. “It’s hard to be angry at people if you’re sharing food at a table.”

She added that chocolate has nutritional benefits.

A variety of delightful treats await attendees at a previous Chocolate Extravaganza at Trinity Episcopal Church.

“You could even call it a a vegetable,” she joked. Or was she being serious? “You know, it’s a bean.”

She commented on the timing of the Chocolate Extravaganza.

“It’s cold out, it’s still dark, the holidays are over,” Eagan said. “And we always sneak it in before Ash Wednesday so that if anybody is giving up desserts or chocolate for Lent, they’re safe if they come to the Chocolate Extravaganza.”

Darby Hinkley is Lifestyles editor. She can be reached at 989-358-5691 or dhinkley@thealpenanews.com.

Ellen Eagan and Co-chair Cheryl Bates smile for a photo at the 2018 Chocolate Extravaganza at Trinity Episcopal Church in Alpena.

Ellen Eagan holds a chocolate cheeseball she made for a previous Chocolate Extravaganza.


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