Exclusive Mark Loren and Norman Love Box of Chocolates Up for Bid at ABC Auction

Gem with Heart Raises Funds for Lee County Children.

Fort Myers, FL, March 06, 2010 --(PR.com)-- The committee behind the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce ABC Auction for Education was taken aback a bit when local jewelry designer and business owner Mark Loren announced his and chocolatier Norman Love’s donation: the duo’s Firelight® box of chocolate, which includes a 1-carat Firelight diamond set into a ring handmade by Mark Loren and 14 pieces of the exclusive chocolate it inspired. The box will be part of the annual auction to raise financial support for Lee County Schools at the Chamber’s event to be held Thursday, March 11, at 5:30 p.m., Harborside Event Center.

“Norman and I both enjoy giving back to the community, especially when it’s for kids,” Loren says. “This is the only auction this season that will have a box of Firelight chocolates, so it’s a very exclusive item.” The boxes are only sold with a Firelight diamond purchase at Mark Loren Designs’ studio and Norman Love Confections Chocolate Salon, both in Fort Myers. With retail value of $10,000, the Firelight chocolate and diamond ring box is likely the most valuable lot at this auction.

The Firelight diamond is a Mark Loren Designs exclusive. The patent-pending gem cut includes 81 facets, or sides, versus the 57 facets found in the traditional round cut. In February, Love introduced the Firelight chocolate inspired by Loren’s cut, which is only available with a Firelight diamond purchase.

“We hope it raises even more than its retail price for this worthy cause, education for our community’s children,” Love says.

Separate from the ABC donation, Loren and Love are donating a portion of the profit from all Firelight diamonds and chocolate boxes sold to Dr. Emad Salman, medical director of the cancer center at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, making it a true gem with heart.

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s ABC Auction for Education is one of the chamber’s largest fundraisers. Proceeds from events like this auction, along with 10 percent of chamber members’ dues fund grants to schools in Lee County for educational programs. To date, the chamber has awarded close to $500,000 in grants. More information on the event can be found on the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.fortmyers.org.

About Mark Loren Designs
Mark Loren Designs is a jeweler and has been offering custom designed jewelry, repairs and recreations of sentimental heirlooms for 25 years in Southwest Florida. His efforts have earned high praise by leaders in the jewelry industry. Loren was named one of 39 of the world’s top jewelry artists in the recently published book, Gemstones Masters: Major Works by Leading Artists. The artists in this juried collection were selected by jewelry curator, designer and president of the American Jewelry Design Council, Alan Revere.

His other recognitions include the International Spectrum Design awards, bestowed by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), are considered the “Oscars” of the jewelry-design industry—and Loren and his design team have won several over the years for “outstanding jewelry design incorporated colored gemstones.” They’ve earned two AGTA Manufacturing Honors, awarded for combining elegant use of natural colored gemstones with techniques that can be used by mainstream manufacturers. They’ve also taken home two Platinum Honors prizes and won the International Pearl Design contest. Examples of his work can be found online at www.marklorendesigns.com.

About Norman Love Confections
Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes ultra-premium, handcrafted artisanal chocolates. Based in Fort Myers, Fla., the corporate headquarters encompasses both the production and retail operations. The Chocolate Salon is a stylish retail shop with an intimate ambience in which customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies. For more information about the Gourmet Chocolate Company, Norman Love Confections, visit the Chocolate Salon located at 11380 Lindbergh Boulevard, off Daniels Parkway, in Fort Myers, call toll free 866-515-2121 or visit www.normanloveconfections.com.

Mark Loren Designs
Erika Houser