A Sherwood Park-based chocolate company saw huge success with its charity chocolate collection in honour of Sgt. George Miok, a soldier from the area who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2009.
All proceeds from the six-piece collection, which was priced at $20, went to support a scholarship program family and friends run in Miok’s memory for students in Sherwood Park.
“We sold 200 boxes, which was our goal… in just 20 hours,” said Jacqueline Jacek, the founder of Jacek Chocolate Couture.
Jacek said that her husband went to high school with Miok and she was inspired to help when she heard him and his friends talking about their loss.
“I decided to ask permission from the family — if they were willing to work with me to design a collection in George’s memory — and then in turn, donate all the money raised to scholarships,” Jacek said.
READ MORE: No Stone Left Alone honours Canada’s fallen
Miok lost his life on Dec. 30, 2009, when his armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device four kilometres south of Kandahar City.
He was a reservist who was also a teacher. He had spent the 2008-09 school year at St. Cecilia’s Junior High School in Edmonton.
The chocolates were all inspired by the person that Miok was.
“We really wanted to recognize George as a person as well as a soldier. So we came up with things based on his heritage,” Jacek said.
Some of the flavours include Dobostorta, inspired by a caramel dessert in honour of his Hungarian heritage, and an apple truffle to honour his time as an educator. It also included a chocolate inspired by his favourite beer, and a Neapolitan chocolate, his preferred ice cream.
Sherwood Park high school students are required to submit a 500-word essay reflecting what it means to be Canadian to be considered for the $750 scholarship.
“We really want our kids to remember those in service,” Jacek said. “Not just in World War 1 and World War 2, which of course are very important, but those in service now in peacekeeping missions all around the world.”
Miok’s family and friends also support a $1,500 secondary-level scholarship for Education students at the University of Alberta. The proceeds from the chocolate campaign raised a total of $4,000 this year.
“We will definitely be doing the campaign in memory of Sgt. George Miok next year,” Jacek said. “We hope it sells just as quickly.”