Irvine, CA (PressExposure) October 23, 2008 -- Downeyâs Chocolates, artisan chocolate studio and cafÃ© announced its âChoc-the-Voteâ campaign to raise $15,000 to find a cure for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) through sales of its political âCandy-datesâ dark chocolates. Each piece of rich dark chocolate is topped off with a thin layer of white chocolate canvas decorated with photos of presidential candidates and their running mates.
âThe idea was inspired by Oprah, whose challenge to pay-it-forward resulted in âChoc-the-Vote,â said Tracey Downey-Racen, chocolate experience officer, Downeyâs Chocolates. âThe in-store promotion turned into an online phenomenon and a great way to raise money for diabetes, a cause thatâs close to my heart, to encourage voter registration and to have a little fun with this yearâs election.â
A long-time philanthropist, Downey has contributed to charities such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The motivation behind her recent efforts to help raise money for diabetes is her step son who has type 1 diabetes. An autoimmune disease that causes the bodyâs own immune system to attack its own insulin-producing cells, type 1 diabetes usually strikes in childhood or adolescence, but increasingly is seen in adults and younger children.
There is no cure for this form of diabetes, and insulin is only life support. Those with type 1 diabetes must take multiple shots of insulin, or wear an insulin pump, a device that infuses insulin into their bodies, and keep track of everything they consume.
âIt finally occurred to me that I could do something for a cause thatâs right in my own backyard, and for the millions of others who suffer from diabetes,â said Downey.
Whether choosing the Obama/Biden ticket or casting a ballot for McCain/Palin, Downeyâs promises to sweeten the deal by donating $1.00 for every $2.00 Candy-date sale to JDRF, with a goal of making a $15,000 donation. The fundraising promotion will last through election day in the month of November, which coincides with National Diabetes Awareness month and the JDRF Orange County chapterâs annual Walk to Cure Diabetes on November 9, 2008, at the University of California, Irvine. This yearâs walk theme is âCampaigning for a Cure.â
Patrons can cast cocoa bean âvotesâ at Downeyâs Cafe, for their chosen candidates. Online votes get tallied and the equivalent number of beans are thrown into their respective jars on display at the Laguna Niguel, Calif. store. The Choc-the-Vote web site also encourages voter registration and participation in the democratic process.
To help diabetics and others with dietary restrictions enjoy her chocolate creations, Downey developed a line of low-glycemic, gluten-free products called the Symphony Collection. Sweetened with agave nectar and free of gluten, these candies can be incorporated into diabetic-, celiac- (wheat allergy) and low-carbohydrate diets.
Candy-dates are $2.00 for each .5 oz piece. To order Choc-the-Vote Candy-dates or to cast a cocoa bean vote, visit [http://www.chocthevote.com]