Thursday, October 16, 2008

Her in Hershey!

Although I am not one known for actively PROMOTING the consumption of "sweets", I may have to make an exception in the case of Hershey Chocolate Products. There has never been any doubt in my mind (nor the tastebuds in my mouth) that Hershey Chocolate tastes delicious, but after a visit to Hershey, PA, and a history lesson about the man who started the company---Milton S. Hershey---I determined that Hershey Foods was the brand to purchase whenever I had a choice. That is because I learned that all of the profits from the sale of Hershey Food Products goes to the Hershey Foundation that has the mission to nurture and educate children in financial and social need, to lead fulfilling and productive lives. (I was not surprised to learn that the man responsible for such a generous and compassionate gift--Milton Hershey--was of the Mennonite faith. Of all the Christian denominations I have observed, few come closer to living the love walk Jesus taught, than the Mennonites I have known.) Today, the Milton Hershey School is the country's largest pre-K through 12, home and school, for boys & girls from families of low income or social need. All students receive the school's services free of charge, including housing; education; clothing; meals; and medical, dental, religious, psychological, and other services. You can actually tour the sprawling campus of the school, along with the beautiful Founder's Hall, if you take the two-hour trolley tour that starts from the Chocolate World Visitor's Center in Hershey. While at the Hershey's Chocolate World, be sure to take the free "Factory Tour". It is an amusementpark-type ride through a tunnel of animatronic dioramas that simulate various components of the process used to make Hershey's chocolate products. (Thankfully there was no mention of the addition of melamine anytime in the process of making Hershey's chocolates. I was glad of this since it had just been on the national news the day of my visit that many chocolate products made in China were being recalled because of unsafe levels of melamine in certain chocolates of Chinese origin.) I want to mention that throughout the trolley tour, and at the end of the chocolate factory tour, you are rewarded with "de-light-ful" chocolate kisses. I have a new image in my head of "light" chocolate kisses because the street lights on Chocolate Avenue where my lovely Days Inn Hotel was located, were made in the form of chocolate kisses! (see photo above) Cute, huh? I heard on the Travel Channel that you can actually smell chocolate in the air in Hershey, PA, and it is true! My hotel was just a few blocks from the world's largest, most famous chocolate processing plant, and the wonderful aroma of chocolate that filled the air there was intoxicating! But, if you can't make it to Hershey, PA, this fall, the least you can do is buy the Hershey's brand for your "Trick or Treat" goodie bags at Halloween. Your little gremlins will be pleased AND you'd be helping out hundreds of underprivileged youth who attend the Milton S. Hershey school. Bon apetit! Tricia (or for the purpose of the personalized Hershey wrapper shown above---PAtricia!)
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