To the editor:

We of the Newburyport Chocolate Tour Committee wish to warmly thank the many participants in this year’s tour held May 18th.

Under a beautiful blue sky and mild temperatures, many toured through local Newburyport stores sampling a huge array of chocolates and chocolate themed treats (like the chocolate hand scrubs at B. C. Essentials). We cleared $14,500 which is more than we’ve ever done before, and 100% of these proceeds will be distributed to our 2019 beneficiaries: Sweet Paws (local dog rescue); prescription refill programs for seniors through four councils on aging (Newburyport, Amesbury, Salisbury, Newbury); Nourishing the North Shore (healthy food access); North of Boston Cancer Resource (support for families); and the Saturday Morning Community Breakfast (free).

Making this unfold so smoothly entailed the coordination and support of the city of Newburyport, the First Religious Society (which donated space), 33 local stores who supplied the delicious chocolate treats, 139 volunteers who staffed the stores handing out chocolates, 31 ad sponsors, and a huge table of donated raffle baskets.

Sponsors included: Amesbury Industrial Supply, Institution for Savings, Benson Gallery, Merrimac Tool and Kramer Scientific, North of Boston Cancer Resource, the Bazrigan Family, Central Congregational Church, Cianbro Corporation, The Financial Advisors, First Ipswich Bank, New England Chocolate Company, Newburyport Counseling Group, Red’s Kitchen & Tavern, The Tannery Marketplace, William Raveis Real Estate, Yankee Fireplace Grill and Patio, Clark/Currier/Compass Rose Inns, Dan Collins/Continental Funding, Fresh Hair Studio, Haley’s Ice Cream, Holmes Physical Therapy, Newbury Elder Pet Fund, Newburyport Fish Market, Newburyport Veterinary clinic and Parry Law and Title Company. And let’s not forget the Chocolate Kisses: Tom and Judy Maskie in memory of their beloved newfoundlands, Tom’s Discount, Debbie Aldrich, Lombordi Oil & Gas and college congrats to James Buckley from his parents, John and Laura Buckley.

Participating stores included: Polished Nail Salon, Sisters We Three, Pretty Poppy, BC Essentials, Harbor Creamery, Vintage Chic, Excentrique, Richdale’s ,Valerie’s Gallery, Nauti Pearl, Soak, Starbucks, Figtree Kitchen and Bakery, Wishbasket, Chococoa Baking Co., Quinn’s Canine Café, Black Duck Café, Beach Plum Flowers/m. cacao, Newburyport Olive Oil Co/ Port Plum, Vaalbara Supply, Greetings by Design, Face/Food, The Dragon’s Nest, Simply Sweet, Brass Lyon, Dolce Gelato, Nazarian Jewelers, When Pigs Fly, Market Square Hair Studio, Paper Moon, the Garrison Inn and in the traffic circle, Jan Lorrey’s Flowers and Newburyport Provisions.

And finally, many thanks to the Rev. Chris Ney, pastor of Central Congregational Church and his congregation who again supported and organized this annual event to benefit those in our communities with food limitations/healthy choices, elders who need extra help with co-pays, those facing a journey with cancer, and last, but certainly not least, support for our beloved pets.

Please feel free to drop into Central Church, 14 Titcomb St. on June 23, at 9:30 a.m. to watch the handing out of checks to these very worthy groups. Come celebrate with us!

Eat Chocolate. Be Happy. Do Good.

Diane Hawkins-Clark and Cheryl Morris

Co-chairs, 16th annual Newburyport Chocolate Tour