The Star-Herald

Aroostook Relay for Life Chocolate Festival to return at new location

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Just in time for Easter, Aroostook Relay For Life teams will bring back an event that will have community members lining up to buy tasty chocolate treats.

Relay For Life teams will gather throughout the Aroostook Centre Mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 3, selling everything from cakes and pies to bacon dipped in chocolate.

In previous years, the Chocolate Festival was held at the former Caribou Middle School and last year it was canceled due to the pandemic. Relay For Life is partnering with the mall this year to encourage social distancing.

Seven Relay teams have signed up to sell chocolate treats at various mall kiosks and three kiosks are still available to teams or other community groups. The registration deadline is March 29.

We are jumping for joy that the Chocolate Festival is back. It’s one of our most successful fundraisers and a great opportunity to help the American Cancer Society,” said Heidi Estabrook, event coordinator and member of MMG Insurance’s Striking Out Cancer team.

The 7th annual Chocolate Festival will not feature games or visits from the Easter Bunny, but will still serve as a crucial fundraiser in a year that is anything but normal for Relay teams.

In this 2019 file photo, a chocolate fountain entices visitors at the Aroostook Relay for Life Chocolate Festival. This year’s event will be in Presque Isle. (File: Chris Bouchard | Aroostook Republican & News)

Instead of having each fundraiser lead to the typical 12-hour, overnight Relay event in June, the American Cancer Society is focusing on smaller fundraisers throughout 2021. The Aroostook fundraisers include the current “You’ve Been Egged” fundraiser, a virtual 5K this fall and a shorter Aroostook Relay360 event in October.

Last time, the Chocolate Festival raised $4,200 for Relay and the teams are hoping to meet or exceed that amount on April 3. Since beginning their 2021 campaign, all nine teams have raised $9,626 total, with their total being $75,000 by Dec. 31.

“We have no idea what to expect in 2021, but we know many people are excited to get out and participate in community activities again,” said Jordyn Madore, event lead for Aroostook Relay. 

To register for a spot in the festival, contact Estabrook at heidi.estabrook@mmgins.com. More information on this year’s Relay events can be found at Aroostook Relay For Life’s official website.

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