For the Love of Chocolate Foundation awards culinary arts training scholarships to non-profit organizations promoting commitment to pastry and baking arts education. The awards are for individuals looking to change careers, as well as individuals who have shown potential in the culinary field but have no formal pastry and baking education.
The goal of the scholarships is to encourage and assist aspiring students, career changers, and culinary career professionals to advance their knowledge of the pastry arts. The Foundation is specifically geared toward individuals and culinary programs who are in need of financial assistance. The Foundation partners with the Hospitality, Confectionery, Culinary and Baking Industries to build career and business connections for culinary student volunteers by holding showcase events throughout the year.
Through the generosity of the foundation’s sponsors, alumni, industry vendors and associates, scholarships to offset student tuition are awarded annually to non-profit culinary training organizations to offset student tuition.
As of 2018, the Foundation directly supports the following programs with monetary awards toward scholarships or career building opportunities:
After School Matters
C-CAP - Careers Through Culinary Arts Program
College of DuPage
Illinois Restaurant Association Education Foundation
Joliet Junior College
The Kendall College Trust
The Floured Apron
The French Pastry School of Kennedy King College at City Colleges of Chicago
The Center on Halsted , Silver Fork
Washburne Culinary Institute at City Colleges of Chicago
HONORARY CHAIR PERSON - Abigail Wodrich
Abby, the daughter of Lisa and David Wodrich, was born nine weeks before her scheduled arrival and one day after the tragic death of her twin sister. Abby was in the neonatal care unit in Indiana, then transferred to Children's Memorial Hospital, where for 16 weeks, the doctors and nurses worked around the clock to help her survive. As a result of an unforeseen twin complication that took the life of her sister and greatly diminished oxygen rich blood to Abby's vital organs, Abby had less than 5% kidney function and was in dire need of a kidney transplant. Her father David was screened as a donor and was a match. The two of them had surgery in 2007 that allowed Abby to lead a more fulfilling life.
All funds raised at For the Love of Chocolate in 2006 went to assist them in helping defray the medical costs of the transplant surgery and lifelong prescriptions. The family shared the proceeds with Children's Memorial Hospital NICU to ensure that more babies will receive the help they need to survive and to say "thank you" for saving Abby.
It has been 12 years since Abby’s miraculous kidney transplant. She just turned 13 years old and is doing very well. She continues to inspire and delight us with her lust for life and boundless kindness. She loves animals fiercely and makes an impression on everyone she meets. She has been thriving in school and landed on the Principal’s Honor Roll this year. We are so grateful to the For the Love of Chocolate Foundation for what they have done for our family and to the culinary community for supporting this beautiful organization. Abby loves that the foundation that started with her has gone on to help so many people launch themselves into careers that will change their lives for the better. She is particularly thrilled that she is forever tied to a foundation that celebrates her favorite food group considering that her motto in life is to “Eat Dessert First”.
The Wodrich Family—David, Lisa, Ethan and Abigail