The Council of Catholic Women at St. John Neumann Parish in Lakeland has been holding their annual chocolate festival for more than 20 years. The event was made even sweeter with the knowledge that the money raised went to support the seminarians at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach.
Barbara Speziani, a member of the council at St. John Neumann for the past 14 years said, “We take care of the seminarians because without them we don’t have a tomorrow.” She and the members of the council adopt a seminarian each year. They pray for them, offer Masses on their behalf, and send care packages for birthdays and holidays as a reminder to each seminarian of how much they are thought of and appreciated.
The annual event offers chocolate of every kind, from the traditional cakes, cookies and brownies to fruit and pretzels covered in chocolate. Speziani says, “If you can cover it in chocolate, we’ll take it.” She said this year’s hit was a Snickers salad. The concoction of Snickers, pineapples, apple slices and cool whip “was wonderful.” “The kids were ecstatic,” she said.
This year the council raised over $400 and donations are still coming in for the cause.