Chocolates, Charms, and Charity: Pasadena’s Junior League Gala Proves Philanthropy is the Sweetest Affair

Published on Apr 8, 2024


The Junior League of Pasadena successfully hosted its spring gala fundraiser, Simply Speaking, on the evening of Saturday, April 6, at the Shakespeare Club Villa. The event, characterized by its elegant setting, drew a large gathering from the community, who came together for a night of celebration, connection, and philanthropy.

The highlight of the evening was a keynote address by Amara Barroeta, the entrepreneurial spirit behind Amara Chocolate and Coffee cafe. Barroeta, with a diverse background that spans competing in the Miss Venezuela pageant to holding a degree in chemical engineering, shared insights from her journey as a café owner/operator. She also touched upon her experiences as a television host and voice-over artist, along with her achievements, including a notable recognition at the 2015 International Chocolate Awards in Germany and her commendable efforts in empowering young entrepreneurs.

The gala offered attendees not just an occasion but a comprehensive experience, marked by a carefully arranged dinner, music from a skilled DJ, and the excitement of both silent and live auctions. The auctions showcased an array of unique items and experiences, designed to captivate and engage bidders, while several surprise elements throughout the evening added to the overall enjoyment and engagement of the guests.

The Simply Speaking event played a pivotal role as a fundraiser for the Junior League of Pasadena, with the proceeds aimed at supporting the league’s objectives. These include promoting voluntarism, fostering the development of women, and enhancing the community through the dedicated action and leadership of trained volunteers.

“The funds that we raise go directly back into the work of the league,” Allyson Self-Stoico, President of the Junior League of Pasadena, said in a previous interview. “Our new member class is doing a project for the community called ‘She Means Business.’ It’s going to essentially be a day-long workshop that helps with skills development for women in the community who are
entering or re-entering the workforce. If we raise a certain amount of money, it would go back towards something like getting supplies for women in the workshop.”

For more information about the Junior League Pasadena visit their website at

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