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Ask anyone who has ever lived in Beaver County, or western Pennsylvania for that matter, about what makes this place so special. I guarantee you the most common response you will hear is, “The people.”

One group of people, the Marion Gordon Ladies Auxiliary, is making an enormous impact in the community with their fundraising efforts for the McGuire Memorial Home and its programs.

The auxiliary, made up of 12 women from Beaver County, is hosting its annual fundraiser, A Chocolate Sunday, on April 15 from 2 pm to 5 pm at Seven Oaks Country Club in Brighton Township.

Before we get in to the details of this great event, let’s take a closer look at McGuire Memorial and those it serves.

McGuire Memorial Home

According to their website:

McGuire Memorial is a co-sponsored ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America and the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Forming a joy-filled community of Christian believers, McGuire Memorial is committed to providing comprehensive services to people with mental and physical disabilities that may include complex medical conditions and offers supportive services to their families and caregivers.”

McGuire Memorial’s main campus is located along Route 68 in New Brighton. It opened its doors in 1963, and serves those who are physically and developmentally challenged, including those with profound multiple, complex disabilities.

In addition to its main campus, McGuire Memorial also has 22 community homes in the area, offers healthcare services, a spirituality program, and respite care. There’s also a school that provides individualized special education services for students ages 3 to 21 who have multiple disabilities or who are on the autism spectrum.

It simply cannot be overstated how big of an impact McGuire Memorial has made in the lives of the physically and mentally handicapped.

A Chocolate Sunday

Now in its 17th year, “A Chocolate Sunday” is a fantastic event where 100% of the proceeds are donated to McGuire Memorial.

The event usually attracts anywhere between 400 and 500 people. In order to accommodate that many people, along with numerous vendors, the entire second floor of Seven Oaks Country Club is devoted to “A Chocolate Sunday.”

The hallmark of the event is the vendors, and there are an estimated 30 or so that will be on hand giving away samples of their products. This is included in the price of your $25 admission. Some of the vendors that will be at “A Chocolate Sunday” are:

  • Anderson’s Candy
  • Barb’s Biscotti
  • Beaver Bagels
  • Beaver County Fruit Co.
  • Bruster’s
  • Bunnies by Peggy
  • Chippewa Giant Eagle
  • Chocolate Boutique
  • Don’s Deli
  • Gourmet Chocolate Lady
  • Grand Valley Inn
  • Heirloom
  • Hunter Brothers Coffee
  • Kara Vita
  • Littell Fudge
  • One Smart Cookie
  • Pappy Rick’s Kettle Corn
  • Pizza Joe’s
  • Radici
  • Rosalind Candy Castle
  • Seven Oaks Country Club
  • Sincerely Yogurt
  • Soup-Herb Sproutz
  • The Butcher and the Baker
  • The Ultimate Pastry Shop
  • Thursday’s
  • Vic’s Oven
  • Waffles INCaffeinated
  • Wolfe’s Shoes and Clothing

The Gift Baskets

Another key component of the event is its signature gift baskets. All of the ladies in the auxiliary donate baskets, which can total anywhere from 40 to 60 in all, and Chinese auction tickets are sold – 25 tickets for $20.

I spoke with the auxiliary treasurer, LouAnn D’Antonio, who told me, “It’s a very nice event. All the proceeds go to McGuire, and it’s just something we all love to do.”

She emphasized the importance of fundraising for McGuire Memorial, and told me some of the funds that have been raised in years past went toward new beds for the residents, school supplies, and a new playground.

Along with D’Antonio, other officers in the auxiliary include co-presidents Rosemary Young and Mary Wood, and secretary Linda Harsh.

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket for “A Chocolate Sunday,” you can contact LouAnn D’Antonio directly at 724-728-3716.

  • What: A Chocolate Sunday
  • When: April 15, 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Where: Seven Oaks Country Club, Brighton Twp.
  • Admission: $25
Marc is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. A 2001 graduate of Center High School and 2005 graduate of Point Park University, Marc is employed by the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and officiates high school and college football. Follow Marc on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram @marcgrando