It’s not quite Valentine’s Day but it’s a chance to sample delicious goodies and all for a good cause.

Chocolate Decadence 2018 “Phantom of the Opera” will raise funds for the Aphasia Center of West Texas. This year’s presenting sponsor is the West Texas National Bank.

“We are so proud to endorse the Aphasia Center because we’ve seen the way the people they help find hope, friends, and a renewed quality of life in spite of aphasia. We hope you will join in this easy, fun way to sustain this needed resource,” Keith Moore, West Texas National Bank CEO, said on the group’s website.

Costumes are welcome but not required for the event that offers West Texans a chance to sample delicious desserts as well as a delicious meal. Marion Bryant is this year’s chair. The event raises about 40 percent of the Center’s annual operating expenses.

There will be Valentine shopping, a live auction and decadent desserts.

The event is scheduled at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at Midland’s Horseshoe Arena.

The event is hosted by the Center’s staff with the help of a group of volunteers. The concept, developed by Cece Brune, is centered around, decadent chocolate, Valentine’s Day, and love; not necessarily in that order

Some things to know:

Valet parking is available. Upon arrival, the volunteer event staff will help you check in and locate your table. Also, watch for servers carting trays of bubbly. They can be found near the entrance.

  • Photos with the phantom. Organizers say he’s handsome, he’s in costume, and he’s available for a photo.
  • Shopping. There’s something for everyone at a wide variety of price points (starting at $5). Organizers said 15 percent of sales will go to the Aphasia Center.
  • Silent auction. Place a bid on a dozen wine- and whiskey-themed high-end gifts.
  • Glass chocolate raffle. For a $100 donation, donors are entered into a raffle for airfare, hotel, and two tickets to a Broadway play (with several options to choose from). This package also includes a pre-show dinner with one of the actors. The first 100 ticket-buyers receive a collectible, hand-blown glass chocolate.
  • Live auction. Bid on one-of-a-kind extravagant items including trips, catered dinners/parties, fine jewelry, and more. Visit the Chocolate Decadence page of the Aphasia Center website to read about item details prior to the event (
  • Dinner and fun. The evening begins with live entertainment at a 6 p.m. cocktail hour that includes savory meats, vegetables, and other hearty meal-worthy items. At 7 p.m., the unveiling of the decadent desserts and more savories.
If You Go
What is Aphasia
  • Aphasia is a communication impairment, typically caused by a stroke.  Aphasia affects a person’s expression and understanding of language as well as their ability to read and write.