Highlands University Brings Community Together with Love and Chocolate

Isaac Sandoval serves dessert at "Love and War" event.

Isaac Sandoval, left, NMHU alumnus and co-owner of The Skillet restaurant in Las Vegas, serves a chocolate dessert to Highlands alumna Roberta Lucero at the Highlands Foundation Office’s “Love and War” chocolate competition in 2020. Photo: Margaret McKinney

The annual Love & War chocolate dessert contest at NMHU supports student services on campus

February 28, 2023

Earlier this month, chocolate dessert creators from around Las Vegas came together in the NMHU Student Center ballroom to battle it out for first place in the annual competition. This year, competitors included Charlie’s Café, Buffalo Hall, Dick’s Restaurant, Prairie Hill Café, NMHU’s Purple Grill, The Skillet, and Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe. Over three hundred attendees cast their votes. The cream-filled chocolate taco created by The Skillet, an NMHU alumnus-owned restaurant, earned first place.

According to Juli Salman, Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, combined ticket sales and sales from the live and silent auctions brought in $18,000 in proceeds that will all go towards student needs at NMHU.

“I’m so grateful to the community for supporting this event,” said Salman. “Contestants, many of whom are Highlands alumni themselves, donate time, materials, and staff to do this. The whole event is themed around love and we really feel that.”

Tickets sold out despite the wintry weather and snowy roads on the night of the event. Local band Contrafact provided music.

“The fact that there were record numbers and a sold-out event was really heartwarming,” said Julie Tumblety, the NMHU Alumni Relations Assistant. “It was a very nice Valentine’s Day gift to see that commitment to Highlands.”