By Betty O’Neill-Roderick
Special to the Beacon Journal
A champagne toast awaited guests at the third annual Law, Love & Chocolate, held at the Canton Club Event Center on Thursday evening. Stark County Common Pleas Judge Taryn Heath, who founded the event, greeted 250 guests.
Partygoers enjoyed chocolate delicacies, served by celebrity chocolatiers. Frank Ifantides invited them to sample white chocolate hearts served by his wife, Canton Municipal Judge Mary Falvey.
Joe Martuccio recommended the cocoa-crusted scallops to Mike Bickis and Joe and Gail Martino.
Honorary Chair Lee Plakas said the event was a collaboration between the Akron Law Alumni Association and the Stark County Bar Association. Proceeds will benefit the Deyarmin Foundation for Veterans in support of the Stark County Honor Court.
Edie Deyarmin said the foundation was founded in honor of her son, Lance Cpl. Daniel Nathan Deyarmin of Tallmadge, who was killed in Iraq on Aug. 1, 2005. A group of his friends decided to honor Nate’s memory by organizing the foundation, which in the past five years has raised more than $180,000 for Disabled/Disadvantaged American Veterans.
Jim Babcock, Kristen Guardado and Vivianne Duffrin looked over the variety of wine in the wine raffle, while Akron law students Christy Donnelly and Jenna Blacklew circulated through the crowd selling wine corks for the raffle.
Canton Center Chef Ken Walsh prepared chocolate-covered ribs, cocoa coffee pork loin and chocolate pepper jack beef loin for guests to enjoy along with their chocolate desserts. Bill and Julie Theiss dined in the McKinley Room, which reminded them of their favorite TV show — Downton Abbey.
Brian Zimmerman and Judge Scott Gwin served dark chocolate cheesecake, while Stark County Common Pleas Judge Frank Forchione offered Nutella brownies to Mary Ann Plakas. Akron Law Professor J. Dean Carro and his wife, Wendy Rockenfelder, made and served chocolate mint bark for dessert. Family Court Magistrates Ali Frantz and David Nist offered chocolate strawberries and Buckeyes.
Stark County Probate Judge Dixie Parks made chocolate butter cream cupcakes as well as Valentine cookies, which she decorated with her husband, Dr. John Parks.
Spotted enjoying chocolate treats were Wayne Kykos, Anthony Flex, Lindsey Zimmerman, Bob and Jane Meyer, Brenda Coey, Holly Davies, Melissa Pitinii, Mary Cirelli and Bill Smuckler.