37th Annual Chocolate Ball

Saturday, April 29, 2023

5:30 pm: Cocktail Reception, Cake Tasting & Silent Auction

7:00 pm: Seated Dinner, Program, Cake Awards & Auction

Location: Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E Main Street, Rochester, NY

Parking: Self-parking and valet options available at the Hyatt.

Attire: Black-tie optional

Theme: La Dolce Vita!

Menu: Click here.

Tickets & Sponsorship

$200 per person

Table of Ten:

Ticket sales are closed, though you may support the Chocolate Ball by making an online donation via the button below. For questions or to support the event in another way, please contact Jill Johnson at jejohnson@epiny.org.

About the Chocolate Ball

Our annual black-tie gala, the Chocolate Ball, showcases the exquisite talents of local pastry chefs. Join us for an evening of decadent chocolate cake, sparkling champagne, craft cocktails and a celebration of hometown culinary artistry.

The event supports EPI and its epilepsy program and services, including support groups, epilepsy education, youth conferences, and Camp EAGR, the only week-long, overnight camp for children with epilepsy. EPI serves thousands of children and adults affected by epilepsy and seizure disorders in Upstate New York.

Cake Competition

Participants in the Chocolate Ball Cake Competition are challenged to create a scrumptious and exquisite cake inspired by the gala’s theme.  Guests spend the first part of the evening sampling each cake and voting for their favorite!

Click here for a list of rules, photos of cakes from previous years, information about the 2023 theme, participating chefs and judges, and to RSVP if you would like to compete.

Silent Auction

Unique experiences and some great products from local and regional vendors! Visit the silent auction page to lean more or to donate to the silent auction.

Photo by John Painz

About Our Keynote Speaker

Marc Palmieri’s memoir, She Danced with Lightning, about life with his daughter’s epilepsy, was recently published by Post Hill Press. Marc is an assistant professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where was awarded a 2022 Teaching Excellence Award for Faculty Innovation. He is also a longtime guest faculty member of The City College of New York’s MFA program in Creative Writing.

His plays, all published by Dramatists Play Service, include NY Times’ “Critic’s Pick” Levittown as well as The GroundlingCarl the Second, and Waiting for the Host. He has published essays and stories in Newsday, Fiction, The Gobal City Review, and (Re) An Ideas Journal. Screenplays include Miramax Films’ 1999 Telling You. He lives with his family in New York City.

Get Involved

There are lots of volunteer and promotional opportunities to support the event.


Thank you to those of you who have volunteered to help on April 29!

Morning Volunteers
8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Hyatt Regency Rochester, Grand Ballroom, 125 E. Main Street
Parking: Self-park at Hyatt
Attire: Comfortable
Contact: Jill Johnson
(310) 995-6810

Evening Volunteers
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E. Main Street
Lobby Level near escalators
Parking: Self-park at Hyatt.
Contact: Sarah Korba, skorba@epiny.org.

Promote the Event

Help us promote the Chocolate Ball!  Shortly after the new year, we’ll post resources here to help you share information on social media, hand out flyers, send emails, and hang posters.  Contact Jill Johnson with any questions at jejohnson@epiny.org.

Media & Photos

Support Camp EAGR

The cash call during the evening specifically raises money for Camp EAGR, New York State’s only week-long, overnight camp for children with epilepsy and their siblings.

Photo Gallery

Chocolate Ball 2023 Photos

Chocolate Ball 2023 Photobooth

Past Chocolate Balls’ Gallery

View All Photos