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Ditch the diet, indulge in chocolate for a good cause

Good Works: Anna Ferguson

Go ahead, indulge. After all, it's for a good cause. That's the philosophy behind next week's Chocolate! fundraiser for the Atlanta chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

"It's a night to put your diet aside and just eat to your heart's content," said Jaime Griffon, director of special events for the foundation. "It's a night of pure indulgence."

As the name suggests, the seventh annual fundraiser will feature all things chocolate, from gourmet chocolate cakes to decadent chocolate martinis. For the event, 20 of the metro area's premier pastry chefs will gather to tempt diners with their lavish creations.

"There aren't any real guidelines or rules for what they can create, just as long as it is chocolate," Griffon said. "We've got great chefs lined up, from Bluepointe, Aria, Canoe and all the city's finest restaurants. I'm sure they will whip up some truly amazing dishes for us all to sample."

A full dinner buffet, two live bands and a silent auction will also be on hand. In past years, the event has drawn in some 1,200 people, and this year, Griffon is expecting the same high attendance.

"We've already sold about 800 tickets, so we are expecting a great turnout," she said.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation supports research to develop a cure for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that targets the lungs and digestive track in children. Currently, about 30,000 children and adults in the United States suffer from the life-threatening disease.

"CF is such a devastating disease. When you hear about it, it touches your heart," Griffon said. "When you see the face of a children who has the disease, you want to help. This event goes a long way to helping find a cure for cystic fibrosis."

The event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. June 21 at the Villa Christina at Perimeter Summit, 4000 Summit Blvd., Atlanta. Tickets are $65 per person. For more information or tickets, call 404-325-6973 or visit www.chocolateforcf.org.

Auction to benefit Camp Twin Lakes

Sports Radio 790 will host a live auction to benefit Camp Twin Lakes at 5 p.m. Friday. The auction will be held as part of the Bye-Bye Buckhead Block Party held Friday and Saturday at the Buckhead Village. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Visit www.790thezone.com.

Butter company heads campaign

Shedd's Country Crock recently announced a new nationwide campaign, "Spread the Sharing," that will benefit America's Second Harvest.

The campaign challenges Americans to tell 1 million stories of sharing by this Thanksgiving on the Web site www.spreadthesharing.com. For each story told, a meal will be donated to feed a family in need through America's Second Harvest.

Shedd's Country Crock made an initial donation of 1 million meals through America's Second Harvest and will match a donation for each story shared. America's Second Harvest is the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the country, with more than 200 member food banks and food-rescue organizations. Visit www.secondharvest.org or www.spreadthesharing.com.

Volunteer of the Year is named

WachoviaVolunteers recently named business banker Brian Martin as Volunteer of the Year for Atlanta for his community contributions in and around the city. Martin logged more than 700 hours of community service in 2006, among the highest in the company.

Martin attended the University of Georgia and received his master's degree from the University of Texas. He began his banking career in 1987 and has been with Wachovia since March 2006. WachoviaVolunteers is a community involvement network for Wachovia employees.

Red Cross looking for heroes

The Red Cross of Gwinnett County is looking for a few heroes. The nonprofit organization has launched a campaign to recruit 65 volunteers to each raise $1,000 or more for the Red Cross.

Corporate Plane Services and Primerica Financial Services are corporate sponsors of the Gwinnett campaign, and John Martin, president of Gwinnett Community Bank is the chair. Call 404-309- 6508 or visit gwinnettheroes.kintera.org.

High school seeks host families

Lassiter High School in Cobb County is calling for 25 host families to house French teenagers staying in the area for a 20-day student exchange program. The teens will visit from July 5-25. For information, call coordinator Linda Farmer at 770-973-2452.

Scholarship

available for

outdoors camp

The Great Smoky Mountains Institute in Tremont, Tenn. is now accepting applications for the Michael Dale Scholarship for the 2007 Wilderness Adventure Camp. One scholarship valued at $440 will be awarded this summer to a deserving camper. A summer camp financial aid application must be completed to apply. Call 865-448-6709 or visit www.gsmit.org.