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‘Celebrate recovery’ with Gateway to Discovery

It’s a Chocolate Thing annual fundraiser is this Saturday

-Submitted photo
Dawn Farr, of Fort Dodge, front, fills cups with chocolate during the 2016 It’s a Chocolate Thing event.

The annual It’s a Chocolate Thing fundraiser for Gateway to Discovery will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 400 S. 13th St.

The fundraiser benefits the Gateway to Discovery recovery home, which is a residential support program designed to help heal women who are struggling with addiction and trauma related to human trafficking, homelessness and more.

“Women go to live at Gateway to Discovery for two years at absolutely no cost to them and during that time, it’s time for them to heal,” said Josi Pahl, studio coordinator for the organization’s Hope Sweet Hope Studios.

As the women begin to heal and recover, they start volunteering and working in the Hope Sweet Hope Studios making handmade paper products like greeting cards.

“And then we turn around and sell those items to the public and whatever proceeds we make by selling at the studio goes directly back to our women, so we can continue to support them rent-free and provide the things that they need for their two years in their residency,” Pahl said.

-Submitted photo
Gateway to Discovery holds the It’s a Chocolate Thing event to raise funds for its residential support program for women who are struggling with addiction and trauma related to human trafficking, homelessness and more.

The Gateway to Discovery home can house up to eight women, and there are currently six living in the home, four of whom are employed at the studio.

The It’s a Chocolate Thing fundraiser will feature a hot chocolate bar with an array of toppings, as well as hot apple cider and candy bags. Entrance fee is $8 per person and kids age 10 and under get in free.

This fundraiser is “very important” to the non-profit organization.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Pahl said. “It’s really the biggest time that the community can interact with our program. This is the time we can celebrate recovery in the Fort Dodge community. It’s a time when they get to hear about our successes and this year we’re going to present a poem that was written by our ladies. It kind of gives it a personal aspect. They get to actually see our women grow as they go through the program.”

There will be about 68 silent auction items at the event, including a gift certificate to the Hair Oddessy, a remote starter and installation from Troy Waller Auto Body and more.

“The whole community has been able to get together and almost every place that we asked to help us out, they wanted to do something,” Pahl said.

She said some more community members made handmade items like shawls and quilts to donate to sell in the silent auction.

There will also be a Giving Tree at the event with specific items that the women in the home need.