South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

Junior Achievement’s Rosé Soirée event raised $110k to support students

on September 14, 2022 / by Nikki Cabus ,

Read Time 3 Minutes

This month the 5th annual JA Circle of Wise Women Rosé Soirée raised $110,000 for Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) programs.

With 225 women in attendance, the event was held at the former Neiman Marcus in The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale. The evening was an experience for all, beginning with a rose petal, red carpet entrance to shopping, networking, appetizers by Silver Lining and sips of rosé, provided by SipChanné, Bloomers Frozen Drinks and Breakthru Beverage Florida.

The evening continued with JA students sharing their inspirational journeys, awarding of the Lorraine I. Thomas Girls Scholarships and the pinning of 18 new Circle of Wise Women members. The event also honored the 2022 Woman of Wisdom (WOW), Sharon Gustafson-Florescue, Florescue Family Foundation who spoke about her personal and professional journey. Sharon is fabulous, generous, funny and beautiful inside and out.

The event’s title sponsor for yet another year was CITY Furniture who’s CEO, Andrew Koenig, is the current JA South Florida Chairman of the Board. “CITY Furniture is proud to be the title sponsor of the JA’s Rose Soirée, in the commitment to provide young women with the right education, skills, and opportunities to create vibrant and sustainable communities,” wrote Koenig in a recent social media post.

Founded in May of 2009

JA’s Circle of Wise Women is a vibrant group of women who are passionate about and dedicated to Junior Achievement’s mission of empowering youth with the knowledge, ability and confidence to navigate their futures, drive our economy, and lead our community.

They believe that Junior Achievement programs are a springboard to show today’s youth their potential for success. Since its inception, the group has raised more than $4.5 million for Junior Achievement of South Florida.

The group’s signature event is the annual JA World Uncorked – a culinary showcase where guests sample gourmet bites prepared by leading South Florida chefs and sip premier wines, spirits, craft beers and cocktails from local vendors. In addition, the Circle of Wise Women host social gatherings throughout the year and participate in JA-related events, such as the Rosé Soirée.

Melissa Milroy, Jennifer Starkey, Yvette Birdsong (left to right)

In addition to the hard-working JA team, special thanks goes out to the leading ‘Ladies In Pink’ event co-chairs, Yvette Birdsong, Melissa Milroy and Jennifer Starkey, Rosé sponsors, CWW members and guests for your generous contributions.

“As a mother and female leader, I feel a responsibility to motivate and inspire the next generation of girls. I am proud to lead an organization that shares this value,” said Laurie Sallarulo, CEO of JA South Florida. “While the Circle of Wise Women was formed to support students across all JA programs, I am thrilled the members have embraced the focus on girls. Thank you to all of the amazing women who have joined our dynamic group.”

Thanks to these women, JA will continue to provide tens of thousands of students with impactful programs preparing them for the future and support the goals and dreams of young female JA alumni!

If you are interested in learning more about Junior Achievement South Florida or how you can donate, visit

Junior Achievement’s Rosé Soirée event raised $110k to support students