Lily’s Place to hold Death by Chocolate fundraiser
HUNTINGTON — Lily’s Place in Huntington has planned a fundraising event to die for Saturday, Feb. 9. If you have to leave this world, there are probably worse ways to go than “Death by Chocolate.”
It’s the nonprofit’s third annual fundraising event that celebrates all things chocolate, including a flowing fountain, cakes, cookies, pies and more. There will also be live entertainment by Danny Neal.
The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Guyan Golf and Country Club along U.S. 60 in Huntington. Tickets are $50.
All proceeds benefit Lily’s Place, which provides medical care to infants suffering from prenatal drug exposure and offers non-judgmental support, education and counseling to families.
Fundraising is critically important for the services that Lily’s Place provides, as it relies on the community to continue helping babies and their families, said Oliva Meade, the nonprofit’s director of development.
“A lot of our time and effort is spent on fundraising here because we are a nonprofit and we are not able to bill for a lot of the medical expenses that we incur,” she said. “It’s really a little over 40 percent of our budget made up from fundraising, grant writing and community support.”
The event is also a great time for members of Lily’s Place to spend time with the community and thank those who support their efforts.
“It’s a night of fun, celebration and socialization among people,” Meade said. “It’s an evening you can come relax, eat some good desserts and listen to some good music.”
Meade said the services offered at Lily’s Place are just as important today as when the organization began four years ago, when it was estimated 75 of every 1,000 babies born in Cabell County were affected by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). That trend has continued, she said.
“Statistics have shown last year that NAS births have actually continued to go up slightly,” Meade said. “We feel like we are making a dent in what we are doing, but there’s still a long way to go and there’s a lot of babies left to serve.”
Babies come to Lily’s Place after their hospital stay and before returning home. From there, the nonprofit provides around-the-clock care for the infants and their special needs, working closely with mothers and partner agencies to counsel them, educate them, and connect them with resources to start a path toward sobriety and motherhood.
The nonprofit offers nurseries in home-like environments where families can bond with their infants going through the process of weaning off substances. There’s also a nursery room for families and caregivers to stay overnight with their infants in preparation for their new lives at home.
Tickets for the Death by Chocolate fundraiser may be purchased at LilysPlace.org. or on the organization’s Facebook page, which can be found by searching for Lily’s Place in Huntington. The event is sponsored by Cabell Huntington Hospital, Ohio Valley Physicians Health, Marshall Pediatrics, WesBanco and Piggly Wiggly in Milton.
Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.