Peace, Love, and Chocolate 2016 was one for the books.  Check out all of the chocolate confections, find out how much we raised, see the pinktastic tablescape, and learn why it almost didn’t happen.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate 2016 was one for the books. Check out all of the chocolate confections, find out how much we raised, see the pinktastic tablescape, and learn why it almost didn't happen.

What started back in 2001 as some of my single gal pals getting together to eat chocolate and drink champagne on Valentines Day has morphed into a ladies social and is now in it’s 5th year as a breast cancer fundraiser. Peace, Love, and Chocolate is a ladies social and a day full of fundraising, pink, and lots of chocolate!


The Fundraiser That Almost Wasn’t

The abbreviated version – the month before the party, when all of the final preparations are generally made, life took it’s own turn.  We had an epic flood in one of our properties resulting in me having to deal with the attorneys and insurance.  And then my Mother went into respiratory failure. (NOTE: she is fine now, and recovering in a nursing home).  I drove up to Pennsylvania to the ICU, walked into her room, and the DNR was still out on the table.  The first words out of Mamma’s mouth were, “The doctors said I was supposed to die last night, but I’m tougher than that.  They don’t know who they are messing with.” (LOVE her fight!!!)

So I had all of 48 hours to prepare for the fundraiser, one of the biggest parties we host each year.  Hubby’s Mother came over to help on Friday, the day before the party.  She left, I took a long nap, and when I woke up, I was drained.  Completely drained.  I had a little boo hoo session for about 15-20 minutes and was moments away from canceling the entire event.  I was exhausted, drained, and emotionally and physically spent.  There was no way I could finish preparing for the party, let alone host it the next day.

But that isn’t what my family is about.  And that isn’t what Pink Fortitude is about.  We are a family of fighters.  We stand our ground in the face of adversity.  So I put one foot in front of the other, and made it happen.


Godiva Truffles at Peace, Love, and Chocolate 2016

The Chocolate

Of course the highlight of the fundraiser is the Chocolate Room.  The Godiva Truffles are my signature truffles and always a fan favorite.


Godiva Truffles at Peace, Love, and Chocolate 2016


The brownies are new, and they are also gluten free and vegan.  And still delicious!  The plate was almost empty by the end of the party!


PLC 2016 v8


Of course, Peace, Love, and Chocolate wouldn’t be a party without my Aunt Dot’s Buckeyes.  This year, I made them “clean” – gluten free, vegan, and peanut free.  The disappeared!


buckeye 5


Funny story.  In one of those life is cruel ironic funny kind of ways.  So on Friday night, after all of the drama and still a lot of work to prepare for the next day, as I was trying to finish up the truffles… I pulled the baking pan full of truffles from the top shelf of the fridge.  I’m short, and the fridge was full, so it was a bit of a juggling act to begin with.  Then of course my neuropathy kicked in at the most perfect time, and I dropped the baking sheet. Fortunately, my other arm caught it, and it fell against my chest.  All of the truffles merged into one blob, and I only lost two.  I had to take a few minutes to re-roll some of the truffles, but fortunately… disaster avoided.




PLC 2016 v3


The Sponsors

I want  to give a shout-out to the companies who helped to make this event extra special. had approached me about running a promotion for them.  The timing was perfect for some party love for Peace, Love, and Chocolate and they went above and beyond.  They sent personalized decorations and party embellishments that fit perfectly with the theme.  The representative even followed up to wish me a successful fundraiser.  I’m completely hooked on – gorgeous pieces and amazing customer service!


PLC 2016 v2


I love this personalized party sign from to show my guests that these are the “allergen friendly” treats.


PLC 2016 v7


Athena Water generously donated all of the water for the event.  And… the company donates generously to breast cancer organizations!


Peace Love Chocolate 5


While I’ve always made my own chocolate confections, this year I had to break down and outsource the cupcakes.  Best. Decision. Ever.  Confections gave me a generous discount for the fundraiser and free delivery.  Everyone raved over them and you bet they will be included for all future parties at the Bertone Homestead!


Pink Champagne Cupcakes at Peace, Love, and Chocolate 2016


Finally, a little love for our local florist.  The Virginia Florist provided all of our gorgeous flowers at a wonderful discount.


Peace, Love, and Chocolate 2016 was one for the books. Check out all of the chocolate confections, find out how much we raised, see the pinktastic tablescape, and learn why it almost didn't happen.


The Partyscape

Despite everything leading up to the fundraiser, I honestly think this is the best partyscape I’ve ever created.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog… in another week or two, I’ll be giving a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a partyscape.


PLC 2016 v1


The Organizations

Once again we supported The Tigerlily Foundation. I am proud to be an Ambassador for the Tigerlily Foundation because it’s a local organization with the proceeds giving immediate help to breast cancer survivors, and going towards advocacy programs.


New this year to the Pink Fortitude family is a brand new organization that is very near and dear to my heart – The National Breast Center Foundation. It was founded last year by a breast surgeon from Mt. Vernon INOVA, and is focused on providing screening and breast cancer treatment to the uninsured and underinsured women in our community.



There are still some donations coming in, but it looks like we raised around $3000 for these two amazing organizations!  The turnout and donations were a little less than in previous years, but friends getting together and eating chocolate, raising money for a good cause… it doesn’t get any better than that!


Be Sure to Donate!

You can always donate online. On their online donation forms, if there is a spot to annotate “Peace, Love, and Chocolate” please do so if you can!

Tigerlily Foundation click HERE to donate.
National Breast Center Foundation click HERE to donate.


Connect and Share

What about you?  Did you enjoy the virtual tour of the party?


Love, hugs, and eating chocolate.  Right after my nap.


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