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Sue Guinn Legg

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Chocolate lovers to make difference

August 28th, 2014 2:00 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

Chocolate lovers to make difference

Bellafina Chocolates is offering its customers and fans an opportunity to select the nonprofit organization they believe to be most deserving of $3,000 in cash prizes to be presented to five local charitable organizations working to assist children threatened by disease, poverty, abuse or neglect.

The Kingsport-based designer chocolates company has selected five finalists from the many local child service organizations it has worked with over the past years to raise money and awareness for their work. They include:

n CASA for Kids, the Sullivan County affiliate of the national Court Appointed Special Advocates program for children who have been placed in state custody due abuse or neglect.

n Children Exceeding Expectations, the special preschool at Bristol Motor Speedway for Tri-Cities children battling cancer.

n The Kingsport Carousel Special People Fund to provide local children threatened by disease, poverty, abuse or neglect free parties and rides at the Kingsport Carousel.

n The Literacy Council of Kingsport that works to stop the generational cycle of illiteracy.

n Youth Villages’ support programs for local children who are aging out of the state’s foster care system.

Through Sunday, votes for any of the five finalists may be cast online at or on the Bellafina Chocolates Facebook page. The charity with the most votes will receive a $1,500 donation and the remaining $1,500 will be split among the four runners-up.

While Bellafina Chocolates donates all its proceeds above cost to children’s charities throughout the year, Brenda Barnicki, the company’s founder and president, said she loves the summer giveaway because it allows customers and fans to designate their favorite.

The national Special Spaces organization will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sept. 10 with a social media event to help raise awareness of its nonprofit work to give children with life-threatening illnesses the bedrooms of their dreams.

To mark the anniversary, Special Spaces families and supporters of its many affiliate chapters across the country are being encouraged to wear their Special Spaces T-shirts, take pictures of themselves in their shirts and share their photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media networks using the hashtags #specialspaces and #wearitandshareit.

Krista Wharton, co-founder of Special Spaces Tri-Cities said, “We’re hoping that people will ask you about your shirt and you can share our mission with them. Please feel free to also post your picture on our Special Spaces Tri-Cities Facebook page.”

Sept. 10 will also mark the one year anniversary of the very special Special Spaces bedroom makeover sponsored and featured by NBC’s “Today” show last September. “Today” hosts Al Roker, Natalie Morales and Willie Geist all took part in the makeover and Wharton said they have all been invited to join in the anniversary social media event.

She encouraged those who do not have a Special Spaces T-shirt to order the organization’s newly designed shirts online at The shirts come in several variations all priced at $20 to $25.

Good Samaritan Ministries’ second annual Golfing for Good benefit tournament will be held Sept. 12 at Buffalo Valley Golf Course in Unicoi.

The entry fee is $300 for a four-person team and includes green fees, a cart, a continental breakfast, snacks, drinks and lunch. Registration and breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. and the tournament will get underway with a shotgun start at 9.

Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place teams and to the winners of the tournament’s longest drive and closest-to-the-pin competitions. The tournament will also feature a $10,000 hole-in-one cash prize.

Tournament sponsorship packages are still available and range from $100 to $5,000. To register or for more information, e-mail or call 928-1958.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335. Follow Sue Guinn Legg on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at

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