The 21st annual Victor Heritage Museum Chocolate Tasting Party and silent auction fundraising is Monday, Dec. 4, with an earlier start time.

The chocolate tasting is a smorgasbord of delectable treats and for $5 people can have as much as they can eat on site. Board member Joan Hosko said nearly 50 community members have committed to making a variety of chocolates, candy, and sweets.

“We’re having our chocolate fountain with cream puffs and fruit to dip into the chocolate,” Hosko said. “The chocolate is so good and this event has become more successful each year.”

Last year, the fundraising event drew in more than 300 guests and the extended hour may add to that number. Hosko noted that last year, they opened at 4 p.m. and had a huge influx until 5 p.m.

“They like to get out in the daylight when the roads are still visible,” Hosko said. “We are opening another hour earlier this year to see how that goes.”

Silent auction items have been gathered from businesses and donors from Darby to Missoula. Suzanne Tout, president, said the only fundraising event of the year is essential to keep the Victor Heritage Museum open.

“It supports us for the overhead, basic costs, and repairs,” she said. “This annual fundraiser has allowed us to apply for matching grants. We’re grateful for grants from The Rapp Foundation and Farmer’s State Bank.”

Hosko said her favorite item in the silent auction is a small pitcher with rabbits by China painter Joanna Barker.

“She is so kind and generous to us and does beautiful work,” Hosko said. “She also donated the maple syrup that was extracted from the maple trees at Daly Mansion.”

The museum volunteers have gathered more than 150 gift certificates from local businesses. Silk scarves painted by museum board members and volunteers, with a train (painted by Tout’s daughter Cathy Rutheford) and the state flower, are also available for bids.

Georgine Lisa (Archer) Forgatch said a 12-person workshop painted the silk scarves last August.

“Eventually, we’re going to have this one with the train printed so we can sell it in the gift store, eventually,” Forgatch said. “It was so much fun.”

The Victor Heritage Museum has door prize drawings each hour of the Chocolate Tasting Party for guests who are present. Guest are also invited to ride the horse-drawn wagon around Victor and the Victor Park will have a Christmas tree lighting.

The Victor Heritage Museum Chocolate Tasting Party provides a social time for community members to visit, indulge in chocolate and support the museum that preserves the history of Victor.

“It is a beautiful place to gather and visit,” Hosko said. “It does get crowded here but it is cozy, Christmassy and introduces everyone to the museum.”

“I like the community involvement,” Sharon Larson added.

Contact Tout for building renting details for class and family reunions at 363-3165.

The Victor Heritage Museum’s Chocolate Tasting Party costs $5 for all the chocolate you can eat on site, plus wassail and hot chocolate, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 4, at 125 Blake St. in Victor. There is no charge for children age 3 and younger.

For more information call 642-3997, email victormuseum@cybernet1.com or visit VictorHeritageMuseum.com.

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