The event is sponsored annually by the Friends of the Library and all proceeds benefit the local library.
Last year's event celebrating Valentine's Day 2012 brought in more than $3,500 for the library.
"This is a traditional event that has grown over the years," said Pam Walukas, coordinator for the annual event and a member of the Friends of the Library. "It is something that people look forward to all year long, whether they bake something or buy something. The community has always been supportive."
Walukas credits all the volunteers, the judges and the auctioneers who make this event a successful fundraiser. And, she points out that Amity Church ends up being the ideal place. For the past six years, the event has been held at Amity United Church of Christ because of space limitations at the library in prior years.
This year's event as in past years has two parts. One part consists of donations being accepted at the library for a bake sale. The other part features the baking competition and auction, which will be held at the church in the evening.
Items for donation will be accepted at the library and items for the contest will be accepted at the church. Both church and library will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.
The library will continue the bake sale until closing at 7 p.m. The sale will also be held at the library on Saturday until everything is gone. Non-chocolate items will be accepted for the bake sale. For containers to be returned, put a label on the bottom.
The three main contest categories, including cakes and pies; cookies and bars; and candy, will remain the same. There will not be a chocolate structure category this year.
Cash prizes are offered in each category with the Best of Show winner receiving a cookbook. Judging for these categories will be based on eye appeal, intensity of chocolate and overall taste.
Contest judging for the overall event will begin at 7 p.m. that Friday, followed by the party, auction and sale. In order to allow the judging to flow smoothly, all three categories will be judged simultaneously by the judges.
Last year Fay Hajel won Best of Show for her buckeye brownies and received a cookbook. The year before in 2011, there was a three-way tie for Best of Show with Fay Hajel, Carol Kemp and Larry Ringler each receiving a cook book. In 2011, Hajel made a Mississippi Mud Cake that had everyone raving about its looks and taste.
Blake and Sally Henry are donating the use of the chocolate fountain for the event again this year. The Henrys have donated the fountain for several years now and it has always been a successful part of the festivities. The Henrys own Henrys Cake and Candy Supplies in Friedens and also BDH/Konhaus Agency in Meyersdale. Other refreshments will also be served by the Friends group and Food Lion will donate strawberries.
The judges this year are Sylvia Wagner, Arlene Baer, Carolyn McKinney, Lou Tuscano, Don Stoner, Almeda Miller, Sue Dom, Becky Kirchner and Nina Werner.
Jesse Maust, a local auctioneer, and his wife, Karen Maust of Springs, will once again return for this year's event. They make a big difference in the camaraderie atmosphere for the auction in the past six years. Jesse, a local auctioneer, donates his time and expertise, while Karen keeps records during the auction.
The Death by Chocolate event serves as a fundraiser for the Meyersdale Public Library every year. While money comes from state and county allocations, a larger portion must be raised locally and through grants and trust funds to keep the library in operation.
Every year, the proceeds from the event not only help the library to raise much-needed funds but the auction itself brings out many community members for a friendly bidding war over the winning entries.
Anyone seeking additional information about the event or anyone who would like to volunteer should call the library at 814-634-0512.