The 20th annual Chocolate Ball, a benefit for The Arc of Howard County, attracted a crowd of 450 people to Turf Valley, where the ballroom shimmered with lights and featured towering vases of orange, yellow and white blossoms. The band, Oracle, kept people on their feet until midnight; the event generated $175,000 from sponsorships, ticket sales, the auction and the raffle.

The evening’s program included recognition of 10 people served by The Arc. Honored as The Achievers for their accomplishments were Bucky Buchanan, Robert Bussard, Hannah Saltzman, Richard Lowry, Dan Maletz, Janice Martin, Carlotta Martin, Geoff Savage, Bonnie Block and Cornell Smith.

Parr also thanked Chocolate Indulgence Sponsor BB&T for being a loyal supporter of The Arc. BB&T was represented by North Arundel Market President Jeff Armiger, who is a member of The Arc Board of Directors.

Extravagant desserts created by the area’s best chefs and caterers were showcased. A panel of celebrities judged the Best in Taste and Show, and attendees voted for the People’s Choice based on appearance. The Center for Hospitality & Culinary Studies at Howard Community College was awarded the Best in Taste and Show and the People’s Choice award. Fiona’s by the Cake Faerie came in second and Debi’s Cake Studio placed third.

Honorary Chairs were Deanna and Joseph Murray, Sr., who are long-time supporters of The Arc; Joseph Murray is a former president of The Arc’s board. Dozens of volunteers provided support for the annual benefit. The Master of Ceremonies was Howard Bank’s Dick Story.

Proceeds from the Chocolate Ball benefit The Arc of Howard County’s vocational and residential supports and services, respite care and other programs and services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For more information and photos of the event, visit