Sugar rush be damned. About 350 Mainers enjoyed three courses of chocolate–10 goodies per person–at the 31st annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fling to benefit Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine (SARSSM). Award winners included Maine Gourmet Chocolates (People’s Choice), Sweet Kisses Confections (Judges’ Best Overall) and Reilly’s Bakery (President’s Award). The Chocolate Lovers’ Fling is the largest annual fundraiser for SARSSM, which has a statewide crisis and support hotline that received 13,000 calls last year.
Volunteers from Southern Maine Community College: Aubine Ntibandetse, Marian Jabbar, Lana Lee, Dorcas Uwase and Jolie Usanase.
Whitney Francis and Natasha Damian fussing a bit over spilled milk at Standard Baking Company's milk-and-cookies display.
Volunteers delivered three courses of chocolate with three or four different goodies in each course.
Volunteer Matthew Crawford of Gorham and event co-chair Polo Jean-Louis.
Reilly's Bakery of Biddeford received the President's Award for these dark chocolate and coconut cheesecakes.
SARSSM Executive Director Melanie Sachs with judge Blake Hayes from Coast 93.1.
SARSSM board members Leah Baldacci and Sandra Monfiletto.
Salted caramel apple truffles by Sweet Kisses Confections, winner of the judges' Best Overall award.
Jill St. Denis of the Sable Oaks Marriott and Maureen LaSalle, chair of Culinary and Hospitality at SMCC.
Gillian Britt of Cape Elizabeth, Danielle Soucy of Westbrook and Mary Allen Lindemann of Portland.
SMCC Culinary Arts major Rebecca Crooker won the Specialty category with brownie-stuffed chocolate-covered strawberries. (Yes, she stuffed about 500 strawberries!)
Merrick Monroe and Rebecca, Susannah, Jhene and Emmy Hunt.
Volunteers Courtney Ampezzan of Brunswick, Stephanie Daggett of Portland and Judi Brewer of Saco.
Quadruple Chocolate Rapture Cheesecakes by Izzy's Cheesecakes.
Former board member Amy Caron with Eleanora Caron; Christen Graham, past president of SARSSM; and Destie Hohman Sprague, associate director of Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA).
Tammy Merrill of Fresh, who provided the floral arrangements, and Joann Leonard of Cumberland.
Kaiulani Anderson-Andrei, one of the dozens of volunteers who served three courses of chocolate.
Maine potato chocolate sea salt donuts from The Holy Donut.
Volunteers Sue Culleton of Oxford, Julie Guerin of Lewiston and Donna Chamberlaind of Lewiston.
Judging committee co-chair Brenda Hall with judges April Ferrell of Aprilla Cakes and health educator Lee Leroy.
Linda McMann and Cheryl Eye of Systems Engineering.
Volunteer server Gina Goyette.
SARSSM board member Carolyn Slocombe, Bonnie Lewis of Raymond and Lisa Day of Standish.
Teresa Webber of Sabattus and Sherri Jewett of Boothbay.
Lisa Jade of Portland and Danielle Fortin of Auburn, volunteers from Maine Roller Derby.
Shari Broder, Mandana MacPherson and Kate Werner, all of Freeport.
Gail Cote, Lauren Corkum and Stephanie Bernatchez of Maine Gourmet Chocolates, winner of the People's Choice Award with their blueberry truffles.
Nobody leaves the Chocolate Lovers' Fling without a goodie box.