Grandview Avenue is known for its eclectic blend of stores and restaurants.
On May 29, it will become a stroll through paradise for chocolate lovers when the Grandview Library Foundation presents the Grandview Chocolate Walk from 6 to 8 p.m.
Those who participate in the walk will be able to enjoy a chocolate treat from each of the 20 participating merchants on a route down First Avenue from the library and along Grandview Avenue. Walkers may start and finish their journey wherever they choose.
The event will benefit the library's endowment fund, which is managed by the foundation board.
"We wanted to raise awareness about the library endowment fund and were looking for a fundraising idea that was more creative than just asking businesses for a donation," said Krista Sturbois, president of the library foundation board and co-chairwoman of the Chocolate Walk.
"The library and our wonderful pedestrian-friendly business district on Grandview Avenue are two gems of our community," Sturbois said. "This event is a great way to shine the spotlight on both of those gems."
Tickets cost $25 and are limited. They can be purchased at facebook.com/grandviewlibraryendowmentfund or in person at Stauf's Coffee Roasters, 1277 Grandview Ave., or the Ohio Taproom, 1291 W. Third Ave.
The deadline for purchasing tickets is May 25 to give participating merchants notice about how many visitors they will receive, Sturbois said.
"It's up to each business what type of chocolate treat they will be serving," she said. "From the feedback we're getting, there are some pretty fun ideas they are coming up with. I know the Grandview Theatre is going to be giving out chocolate-covered popcorn and I've heard other plans from businesses, like chocolate-covered strawberries."
The Chocolate Walk is designed as an annual event, "and I think as time goes by, businesses will start having a friendly competition to outdo each other," Sturbois said.
Some businesses may opt to present Chocolate Walk participants with incentives to make return visits, she said.
"You don't know what you're going to get when you walk through that door," Sturbois said. "That's part of the fun of this event."
The foundation board manages the endowment fund, which was established through the Columbus Foundation.
"The foundation is a separate entity from the library," library Director Ryan McDonnell said. "It's an important organization that really serves to help ensure the long-term financial success of the library."
"I don't want to use the term rainy-day fund," Sturbois said, "but the endowment fund in part is an insurance policy in case there are further cuts in state funding or unexpected expenses arise."
The fund reached the million-dollar mark last fall, she said.
"It's quite a milestone," Sturbois said. "We've only been able to reach that level thanks to the generous individual donations and bequests that have been made to support the fund. The community has always supported the library."
The foundation board will consider using some endowment funding to pay for special projects not covered by the library's regular operating budget, she said.