For the first time in Chocolate Walk history, a for-profit business will be the primary sponsor of the event.
Chocolate Walk, organized by LIFEDesigns, is a week-long event throughout Bloomington to raise money for various nonprofits around town. Stephanie Shelton, community development officer at LIFEDesigns, said the organization gathers the sponsors for the week ?each year.
“We have been doing this for over 10 years,” Shelton said.
Kelly Osmon, an acupuncturist at Osmon Chiropractic Center, said she thinks being the first for-profit business to participate as the hosting agency, or biggest sponsor, could be a good thing.
“As long as other business are as passionate about giving back to the community as we are, I don’t see anything wrong with it,” Osmon said.
Osmon said she and her husband work together in the chiropractic office they opened seven years ago. She said they are dedicated to giving back to the community both of them grew up in.
“We love to give back,” Osmon said. “We do a lot of events and things for charity.”
Osmon said the chiropractic center will be offering free exams and X-rays to anyone who participates in the ?business’ events Jan. 24.
According to LIFEDesigns’ website, various local health and beauty organizations will offer free services there as well.
Joining the chiropractic center for the week’s events are local organizations such as Rhino’s Youth Center and the Bloomington Moose Lodge.
Brad Wilhelm, the director of Rhino’s, said the week provides much of the center’s fundraising.
“We usually raise about $2,000,” Wilhelm said. “That’s about 200 to 250 people showing up.”
Wilhelm said Rhino’s hosts a chocolate-themed prom each year, and this year’s event will fall on Jan. 30. People of all ages are encouraged to attend and to dress up.
“We’re very happy to be a part of the week,” ?Wilhelm said.
Rhino’s is a nonprofit music venue for all ages.
LIFEDesign’s sponsored event will take place Sunday at the IU Art Museum. The event is an art show complemented by wine and chocolate tastings. Shelton said Oliver ?Winery will provide the wine.
Next Monday, the Bloomington Moose Lodge will host a chocolate-themed bingo night. Teresa Hollers, an administrative assistant at the lodge, said they had been involved for a long time due to LIFEDesign’s affiliation with the walk.
“We have a lot of members who are part of LIFEDesigns,” Hollers said. “There’s more than I know.”
The events run Jan. 24-31.