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Planned Parenthood of Delaware: Chocolate Festival and Silent Auction

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You know it’s a good party when the word “chocolate” comes in front of everything: chocolate banana muffin, double-chocolate brownie, chocolate fountain. And cherry chocolate martini—possibly the most delicious few words I’ve ever seen strung together (aside from Marc Jacobs trunk sale, obviously). That was the scene at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, which hosted Planned Parenthood of Delaware’s eighth annual Chocolate Festival and silent auction.

The silent auction had lots of goods on display, but there was a traffic jam in front of the “New Born Baby Basket,” stuffed with hand-knit goodies in luxuriously thick whites and creams. I shared a moment with Dianna Herrin. “So adorable,” she said. “Who can I give this to?” As I quickly tipped back my martini, I hope my answer was crystal clear: Not me, girlfriend.

As much as the chocolate ball was a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood of Delaware, it was also a coming out party for Colorado transplant Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, the organization’s new president and CEO. She was looking fabulously in charge as she took the stage to make her first public address on behalf of Planned Parenthood. Lytle-Barnaby was there with her husband, Jim, an eighth-grade science teacher at Sanford. The pair is settling in wonderfully in their new North Wilmington home. “We’ve been here about five weeks, but one thing I can’t get used to is all the one-way roads. I keep going in circles to get where I need to.” Well, Ruth, when you finally get there, all you need to do is show up in that fabulous black lace dress and you’ll be a-OK.

I spotted my old friend, Deb Heffernan, whose eldest daughter, Margaret, is taking the University of Delaware by storm, I hear. Deb, the state Representative for the 6th District, was giddy about her silent auction win. “Phillies tickets!” she said, waving the goods. “I think there’s hope for 2013.”

Speaking of local government, I suppose it’s not a shock that at a party touting chocolate as the main event, a lunch with U.S. Sen. Chris Coons fetched far more bids than a run with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. Shopping is our cardio, right ladies?

I leave you with one final verdict: retired judge Susan Del Pesco, stunning in a black sheath with lots of sparkly baubles at her collarbone, is a miracle of science. So slim and pretty, yet I’m confident she hit that chocolate buffet more than once.

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