Local businesses donate $12,000 in sweets to school Valentine’s Day project

Valentine's Day project
Volunteers made tubs full of Origami flowers for Valentine's Day at Spanish Fork High School.

By Brian Brinkerhoff

SPANISH FORK — Two Utah companies have shown their support to Spanish Fork High School students to help ensure no one is forgotten on Valentine’s Day this year. Mrs. Call’s Candy Company and V Chocolates have backed students with a goal to remind them that they are always remembered and valued.

Valentine's Day project
Project organizer Sterling Brinkerhoff.

Sterling Brinkerhoff, project organizer, commented, “Valentine’s Day is primarily celebrated by couples, which is a lot of fun if you are part of a couple. For those that feel lonely or forgotten, it could be a tough holiday to enjoy. Last year one of our students was encouraged and helped to take her own life in Payson Canyon by someone she thought was her friend. We want everyone to know that someone cares. We want to create something special this year to let the students know that someone is always there for them.”

Sterling, along with a number of students in the Parent Teacher Student Association, Scout Troop 98, the Benjamin First Ward, and the Spanish Fork Youth City Council built 1000 origami flowers that were originally designed by Sterling several years ago. Sterling thanked the volunteers, “I never could have finished the flowers without the help of these volunteers. Each flower takes me approximately seven minutes to complete. To do all of them myself would have taken more than 116 hours.”

Sterling also discussed the design, “This Valentine’s Day origami flower is unique in that it is patterned after the the lily instead of a rose. A heart folds out with a hidden message of hope and encouragement. The lily has been believed to represent, faith, wisdom and chivalry since the 14th century.”

To make it extra memorable for everyone involved, V Chocolates and Mrs. Call’s Candy Company have both generously donated treats to the effort.

Valentine's Day project
Volunteers fold origami flowers.

Sterling remarked,”Originally, I was not sure we would get any help, but Mr. McKee (our school Principal) believed in the cause and was willing to contribute personal funds to make this happen in case no one else was willing to support this.

I originally planned on only giving something small to the female students, but thanks to V Chocolates and Mrs. Call’s Candy Company, we were able to expand our project to include something awesome for the entire school. I have been so impressed and grateful that these companies have shown such generous support. I respect them for their willingness to help. It never ceases to remind me of the goodness of others.”

A representative from V Chocolates noted, “We here at V Chocolates are happy for the opportunity to show our support in this project for Spanish Fork High School, and hope that our small donation will lift any spirits that need it. This is a worthy endeavor that caught our attention immediately, and we commend Sterling Brinkerhoff for his efforts to make a positive impact in his community.”

Sterling noted, “ I was originally drawn to V Chocolates because of their message to “Love Life.” With the tragic suicide last year, their message spoke to me as I was trying to launch this project. They were extremely quick to respond and show how much they care. They truly backed it up with a beautiful selection of their finest truffles and caramels to sweeten the day.”

Mrs. Call’s Candy Company also made an extremely generous contribution to the Valentine’s Day project. Sterling exclaimed, “ I was shocked to learn that they were donating a pallet of their Dark Chocolate Caramels with Sea Salt to our school. I never anticipated this level of generosity. You never realize how cool it is until you see it all together in one place. I am forever changed to see how good people are in trying to make a difference. I feel extremely lucky to work with them and I know it will leave a lasting impression on everyone involved.”

Treats will be distributed to all students, faculty and staff at Spanish Fork High School on Valentine’s Day.

Sterling wrapped up, “I personally thank everyone who showed support for this project, whether it was helping to fold origami flowers, contribute treats or help ensure no one was forgotten. There are so many good people around us. I hope everyone touched by this project remembers the goodness of others when they face their greatest personal challenges. When times are toughest, someone is always there that cares.”

Sterling Brinkerhoff is currently Mayor Pro Tem of the Spanish Fork Youth City Council and Vice Chair of the Utah PTSA Student Leadership Committee. He is working towards his Eagle in Scouting and is involved in a wide variety of service projects year-round.

About V Chocolates–

V Chocolates is a local Utah company that has been around since 2004. It was founded by Ron Best who sadly passed away in 2016, but they strive every day to keep the company running at his high set standards. Specializing in Caramels and Toffees, they also offer chocolate strawberries and caramel apples all year long. Their main business stems from selling wholesale to local shops, and there are many more scattered all over the U.S..

V Chocolates prides itself not only for excellent product, but also quality packaging, which has won many awards from Utah’s Best of State organization. In its inception, Ron was always adamant that packaging be a main focal point in excellence, so as to appeal to anyone for any occasion. Their production facility is located just outside of downtown Salt Lake City at 850 south Main street, where product may be purchased, and visitors can even get a peek into the factory. Their website can be found online at www.vchocolates.com where you can make orders and see their full selection of products.

About Mrs. Call’s Candy Company–

Mrs. Call’s Candy Company is a gourmet confection manufacturing company specializing in caramels made from a century old recipe and fresh ingredients.

The secret of Mrs. Call’s famous caramels comes from an old recipe dating back to the 1920’s in a small Utah Candy Factory. Their caramels are still made the old-fashioned way…small batches of gooey caramel boiled in copper kettles. Only the finest, freshest ingredients, are used, including plenty of real cream and butter, to ensure that each caramel has a soft, rich flavor that will keep customers coming back for more.

There are no preservatives, hydrogenated oils, or harmful ingredients in Mrs. Call’s old fashioned caramels. Demand for their candy has been so great that in 2006 they moved to a larger state of the art facility located at 356 West 1000 South in Heber, Utah.

John Call commented, “We feel a very strong commitment to make products with only the finest of raw ingredients, with attractive, upscale packaging, and to provide excellent customer service. We are unwilling to compromise in any way. We want your happiness to be associated with our wonderful caramels.”

These gourmet caramels have been paired with high end chocolate to expand the brand, which can be found across the country under many private labels. The best place to find the entire line is at the factory gift shop in Heber Valley, offering gifts for all ages. The public is invited to stop by for a free sample, take a peek through the factory windows and see the candy making process.