Something sweet coming to Marquette

Jamie Glenn

Local nonprofit Superior Alliance for Independent Living(SAIL) is hosting its 8th annual Chocolate Festival to benefit those with disabilities and their families. The festival will be held in the Great Lakes rooms of the University Center from 1 to 3 p.m on Sunday, Feb. 12.

SAIL is an organization with a mission to provide disabled adults in the U.P. with the resources to help them work toward and achieve independence.

A number of local vendors, chocolatiers, restaurants and bakeries are all coming together to offer up some of their most delightful treats and desserts to the NMU and Marquette community. Eleven different vendors will be contributing to the festival including Donckers, Simply Superior Catering, Marquette Food Co-Op, Sayklly’s, The Brownstone Inn, Midtown Bakery, Biggby Coffee, Gopher’s Bakery, culinary students of NMU and more.

Jessica Manier, an employment services specialist with SAIL and Chocolate Festival event coordinator has been contributing to the chocolate festival for the past five years.

“We typically expect around 600 people to attend the event. It has grown over the years,” Manier said.

Gathering volunteers is what helps pull events like these together, Mainer said.

“We started preparing in November. We had to get the local businesses involved. They donate their time and their talents and their chocolate to us. We ask our chocolatiers to donate 300 to 400 samples, it could be savory, it could be sweet,” Manier said.

The money raised at this year’s festival will benefit the Single Point for Activities and Recreation program, which aims to provide activities along with adaptive sports equipment for the clients of SAIL, disabled or not. Profits from the event will also go toward helping a number of non-grant-funded programs in the the area.

“People are coming to the festival, eating good chocolate, gathering with friends and also gathering for a great cause,” Manier said.
Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased online through Eventbrite, at the SAIL office on Wright Street or by calling SAIL at 906-228-5744.