Dive Into a 'Dessert Fantasy' on Sunday
The name of the event almost says it all. "Dessert Fantasy," which takes place on Sunday, fills a giant ballroom with desserts from more than 30 local restaurants and dessert makers. You can sample all the sweet treats you can eat, all for a good cause.
The day after Halloween, no less.
"Dessert Fantasy" is an annual fundraiser for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii, and even though I only heard about it for the first time today, it's been going on for over 25 years.
My only excuse is that I have more of a salty tooth than a sweet one. Even so, this tornado of sugar sounds incredible. And staged the day after Halloween, I half suspect "Dessert Fantasy" is actually a big dentist conspiracy.
For $25 (or $30 at the door), you can spend two hours admiring and tasting a dizzying array of desserts. And if your largely tax deductible contribution to UCPA Hawaii isn't enough motivation, there will be live entertainment and a silent auction featuring some one-of-a-kind donated items.
To help you burn a few calories, there is some work to be done: attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite desserts from among the hundreds on the menu. In addition to bestowing the title of "People's Favorite Desserts," the event also includes a panel of professionals who will hand out the Judges' Award crown.
The roster of participating dessert makers was just posted today, and is a great mix of well-known local restaurants and small kitchens (including a bowling alley and a high school):
Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop
The Alley @ Aiea Bowl
The Baker & Butcher
Big City Diner
Chocolate on a Mission
The Cookie Corner
Cupcakes And Things Bakery
Dave & Buster's
Dave's Ice Cream
Pearl City Eight Point Distributors
Farrington High School
First Hawaiian Chocolate
Gros Bonnet Culinary Academy
Haili's Hawaiian Foods
Haleiwa Joe's - Haiku
Hokulani Bake Shop
Honolulu Cookie Company
Island Princess Hawaii & Mele Macs
La Tour Cafe
Lappert's Hawaii at Hilton Hawaiian Village
Mocha Java Cafe
Nisshodo Candy Store
The Pig and the Lady
Sugar Hut Hawaii
Top of Waikiki
"Dessert Fantasy" was born in 1989 when UCPA Hawaii celebrated its 30th anniversary. It's one of UCPA Hawaii's larger annual fundraisers, bringing in about $25,000 on average to support the organization's work. It has also run the Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race on the Big Island for 24 years, which just this past summer raised over $30,000.
Cerebral Palsy isn't a disease, but rather an umbrella term for a number of disorders that affect body movement, balance, and posture. These impairments usually appear in infancy or early childhood, and while there is no cure, training and therapy can help.
UCPA Hawaii helps families with a wide range of developmental disabilities (including autism) through programs like early intervention, social services, public health awareness, and recreation -- including activities and events at its Child Development Center.
"Dessert Fantasy" runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1 in the Grand Ballroom at the Pacific Beach Hotel (2490 Kalakaua Ave.). Advance tickets are available online for $25 for adults, $15 for children ages 6 through 12. Otherwise, you can pay $30 at the door. For some tips on how to get the most out of the event, check out some of the reviews on Yelp! from previous years.
For more information on UCPA Hawaii, visit UCPAHI.org, like and share the organization's Facebook page, or follow @UCPAHI on Twitter and on Instagram. The organization just launched a year-long social media campaign last month, hoping to share its story with the hashtag #UCPstory.
Photos courtesy UCPA Hawaii on Facebook.