WESTON — The Museum of American Glass in Weston is enticing all chocolate lovers to join them for their 7th Annual Valentine Chocolate Lovers Feast. In keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, the museum volunteers will be wearing gloves and masks for their dine-in and carry-out event this year. The Chocolate Lover’s Feast will be held on Saturday, February 12 from 1 to 3 p.m.
In 2021, The Museum of American Glass was hoping that the community would support their unique drive-thru event, as opposed to their typical “spectacular indoor arena,” and they did. In 2021, the museum raised over $1,500. This year, the event is $10 a person and advance tickets are available at the Glass Museum. Admission is $5 if a guest has arranged to donate homemade chocolates in advance. To contact the Museum of American Glass, call (304) 269-5006. If interested in donating chocolate or seeking more information, contact Fay Bell or Sheila Sayre at (304) 269-4761.
The money raised from this event supports the varied endeavors to maintain the museum and their ongoing renovations. Previously, the proceeds have allowed the Museum of American Glass to “improve the outside façade of the facility, painting the large mural on the outside wall, place, much needed, new flooring in the gallery, improve the front desk and purchase display cabinets, etc. In addition, we have less glamorous expenses, including such things as paying utilities, maintaining and upgrading the computer system, buying paper supplies, plus cleaning and maintaining the facility in general,” according to volunteer Carolyn Loar.
During the event, guests will visit six tables full of delicious, homemade chocolate goodies and choose what they want. For the health and safety of everyone in attendance, a volunteer will place it on their plate or in a box for carryout. The museum asks that guests not enter if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness.
This year, the event will also include live music and a basket raffle. With the guidance of volunteer Alyce Henry, several local businesses contributed to the basket, containing $250 worth of treats. The basket includes the following: Choco Vine, cupcake prosecco, champagne glasses, an arrangement from Minnich’s Florist, gift cards to both Lambert’s Winery and Tattered & Torn Primitives, tea and steeper, peppers, blue cheese wine chips from Curated, an Appalachian Glass friendship orb, a Museum of American Glass Blenko heart vase and chocolates, a Lilly Pulitzer journal and bracelet keychain from Caplan’s Jewelry store, and a 100% cotton throw blanket from Camden Creek Creations. Tickets to win this chocolate lover’s basket are $10 each or three for $25. The drawing will be during the Chocolate Lover’s Feast and is currently on display now at the Glass Museum and tickets are available.
In 2015, Chairmen Fay Bell and Sheila Sayre began asking friends, customers and groups in Weston to donate homemade chocolate to help the Museum of American Glass raise funds for various needs, including buying archival materials and glass, purchasing new cases and other general necessities. The event originally brought in approximately 100 attendees and has only grown since with a reported 250 attendees in 2020. According to Loar, “We have used the same formula and the chocolate is always homemade and delicious! Our donors use their imagination and come up with a huge variety of goodies!” She said delicacies, such as chocolate fluff, chocolate bacon, rich brownies, fudge, cookies and dipped pretzels, are usually among the items available for the area’s participating chocolate connoisseurs.
The Museum of American Glass has been open on Main Avenue since 2006, but local volunteers and glass lovers in the area started planning for this impressive museum in the 1990s. The museum is located in the building once home to JCPenney.
Glass made from all over the United States is on display, thus the name “Museum of American Glass.” Loar explained the Museum of American Glass “celebrates the history of glass and glassmaking, which has been a very important part of Lewis and Upshur counties and WV state history. One must remember art glass is only one aspect of glass history. There is also window glass, bottles, marbles, insulators from the past, glass eyes, glass canes and medical items.” It is noted that almost every resident likely has at least one relative who has worked in glass.
“We love having visitors and there are multiple exhibits to enjoy,” Loar exclaimed. The museum boasts approximately 25,000 items. It is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
Due to offering free admission to the museum, fundraisers such as the Chocolate Lover’s Feast are very important to the museum. Most of the staff are volunteers, including their entire board. The volunteers must regularly clean the glass on display, as well as the glass cases, and also catalogue glass items, work in the archival section, work in the library stocking shelves and keep up with the gift shop, among many other duties.
Help preserve West Virginia’s rich history of glass making, while enjoying some delicious homemade chocolate.