The Group: Marion Springs Elementary Com­munity Service Organization, Baldwin City, Kan.

The Setting: Parent/Child Date Night, a Valentine’s Day-themed family event with music and dancing.

The Idea: As a special treat, CSO President Laura Linder would set up a chocolate fountain with items for dipping: marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, pretzels, and pound cake.

What Went Wrong: The chocolate fountain immediately clogged and became a chocolate mountain. Turned out it had been put together upside down: The cup-shaped inserts used to catch the chocolate were really supposed to be umbrella-shaped pieces with chocolate flowing over them.

What Happened Next: The chocolate was scraped into a heated electric pot. The downgrade in ambiance didn’t change the flavor of the night, however; people loved dipping their selected treats.

The Outcome: Everyone declared the night a sweet success. Linder even plans to try the fountain again, she says, “now that I know the thing needs to look like umbrellas and not cups!”

Sticky Fingers: Despite the presence of melted chocolate, things didn’t get too messy. The one telltale sign: a photo board painted with two cupids, for parent and child. By the end of the night, the hole for the child’s head was decorated with lots of chocolaty fingerprints.

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