35th Chocolate Ball to help children and adults with epilepsy

ROCHESTER (WHAM) — The 35th Chocolate Ball to benefit Empowering People’s Independence is being aired Monday at 7:30 p.m. on 13WHAM.

EPI has provided care, education training and support to people with PTSD, epilepsy, a traumatic brain injury and developmental disabilities.

It was started more than 40 years ago in Rochester by parents who couldn’t find appropriate services for their children, and is now part of the National Epilepsy Alliance serving multiple regions of New York.

On Monday morning, Michael Schwartz met with two of the contestants to get a taste of what we may see from them in the competition. The Chocolate Ball is usually an elegant in-person event where guests vote on their favorite dessert. This year will be virtual, with a summer camp theme.

Kelly Scott and her husband Andy of Get Caked will feature a camped-out S’mores cake that includes fire! Jamie Villani of Jamie’s Dream Bakery is also a contestant, and enjoys the friendly competition to help EPI.

Some of the funds raised will go to EPI’s Camp EAGR, which gives children with epilepsy a week to enjoy summer camp and do things they may have never done before, such a horseback riding.

Aurora Olcott has gone to Camp EAGR for the past two years and loves the friends and activities. Olcott, who was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and other campers are monitored by doctors who volunteer their time, such as Dr. Aubrey Duncan.

Duncan is a pediatric neurologist at Golisano Children’s Hospital, and says that week is one she always looks forward to where kids can focus on fun.