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Bunnies for Babies to hit a home run for hunger


Sharon Arnold, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758239-275-5758,

Bunnies for Babies to hit a home run for hunger
Purchase a $5 ticket and get a free ticket for nonperishable food donations for CCMI

FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 5, 2011) – This Easter, Norman Love Confections is partnering with the Red Sox Foundation to raise funds that will enable Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. to launch CCMI Food Factory, a new nutritional program.

The sixth annual Bunnies for Babies showcases Norman Love Confections’ chocolatiers who dedicate their time each year to create extra special eggs and bunny centerpieces as a benefit for those in need.

“Norman and I are concerned about kids who are not eating properly, especially when school is not in session,” said Mary Love. “So with the assistance of the Red Sox Foundation, Norman Love Confections is working with CCMI and area chefs to develop an ongoing program to teach families how to prepare affordable, nutritious meals.”

Tickets are $5 for a chance to win a spectacular Easter creation. Those purchasing a ticket and donating nonperishable food will also receive an additional free ticket. The four mega-sized bunnies and chocolate creations have been designed and produced by the artisans at Norman Love Confections. Chefs Dan Forgey, Michelle Kocses, Maura Metheny and Francine Bernard have created colorful spring sculptures while Chefs Nathaniel Reid, MaryEllen Salamone, John Cook and Chris Botterman designed baseball-themed Easter creations. The Red Sox Foundation is donating a pair of Major League Baseball-authenticated Fenway Park seats and autographed baseball memorabilia that will be raffled with the baseball-themed chocolates.

Tickets may be purchased at the NLC Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers and Naples, at the Boston Red Sox store at City of Palms Park and at CCMI, located at 3429 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The drawing will be held at noon Friday, April 22 at the Chocolate Salon in Fort Myers. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to CCMI. Ticket holders need not be present to win; an NLC purchase is not necessary.

“This new program, the CCMI Food Factory, where ingredients go in and healthy meals come out, has been a dream of ours for quite some time,” noted Sarah Owen, CEO of CCMI. “It will enable us to help build stronger families by showing how to prepare nutritious, delicious meals while teaching how to budget their finances and time.”

According to Owen, the Food Factory should be in place by June at both the Fort Myers and Cape Coral Everyday Café and Marketplace. We’re looking forward to working with area chefs and nutritionists who will help us create and prepare menus using ingredients available at the marketplace.”

CCMI provides more than 14,000 meals each month through their Soup Kitchen and Meals on Wheels programs. The nonprofit agency also educates 40 children in their Community Montessori Preschool, provides weekend backpacks full of food to more than 2,500 children each school year and oversees a mobile food pantry and everyday choice marketplace.

CCMI serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres. The Soup Kitchen serves a noontime meal six days a week to men, women and children. In addition, CCMI prepares and delivers nutritious packaged meals and beverages for the homebound hungry, offers customer choice food pantries and mobile food pantries that provide emergency groceries to families in need, serves two nutritious meals a day for the children in their Montessori Preschool and oversees a backpack program for local schoolchildren who would otherwise receive little to no food on weekends. For more information, visit

“I believe in the adage of ‘teach a person how to fish and they will eat for a lifetime,’” said Katie Haas, the Boston Red Sox director of Florida Business Operations. “The Red Sox Foundation is committed to making a difference in Southwest Florida by helping families gain skills and the education necessary to improve the quality of their lives.”

The Red Sox Foundation is the official team charity of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are committed to outreach efforts to help raise awareness of and support for local community groups across New England and the team’s spring training home in Southwest Florida. All monies raised in Southwest Florida by the foundation are distributed among nonprofits within the area. For more information, visit

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes ultra-premium, handcrafted artisanal chocolates. Based in Fort Myers, the corporate headquarters encompasses both production and retail operations. The Chocolate Salons are a stylish retail shops with an intimate ambience in which customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies.

For more information or to place an order, call 239-561-7215239-561-7215, toll free 866-515-2121866-515-2121, or visit Chocolate Salons are located in Fort Myers at 11380 Lindbergh Boulevard, east of I-75, off Daniels Parkway, and in Naples at 3747 Tamiami Trail North at Parkshore Plaza. The Fort Myers store is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Naples shop is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.