The Heart of America Foundation rebranded its signature chocolate fashion show fund-raiser, where chefs create clothing from chocolate and other candies, from Sweet Charity to Charity in Chocolate for its 11th installment on Monday night. Nearly 800 people attended the party, which also served as the organization’s 15th anniversary party, at the National Building Museum, a new venue for this year after previously being held at the Mandarin Oriental.
“We wanted to really reprogram the event and we thought ‘Charity in Chocolate’ was the perfect name to bring those two elements of the night together,” said foundation co-founder and president Angie Halamandaris. “Plus, our office is in the National Building Museum, so it was like bringing it all home [for the anniversary].”
For nearly two hours before the signature fashion show, nearly 50 restaurants and caterers served small plates of chocolate, dessert, or chocolate-inspired savory dishes. ABC7 journalists Leon Harris and Natasha Barrett served as master of ceremonies for the night, introducing the 13 models sporting looks inspired by children’s literature and made from chocolate and candy. In the end, chef Shaun McCarty from the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center took home top honors for his Queen of Hearts creation.
Funds raised from the event will go towards book donations to DC-area schools. Final fund-raising numbers have not yet been released. Top sponsors included Target, Capitol One, and Washington Gas. Syzygy Event Productions designed and produced the event with assistance from Edge Floral Designs, DC Rental, and VRS Meetings & Events Inc.
**Photos courtesy of the Heart of America Foundation