Extravaganza Raises $4,500 for Cocoa Farmers

Shana Dressler’s Chocolate Extravaganza, a project previewed previously on Landmark News as the debut event for Dressler’s Global Giving Circle non-profit organization, was a smashing success, drawing 180 participants, far more than Dressler had anticipated. The event, which raised $4,500 for African cocoa farmers, was covered by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Parts of that article appear below – For other information visit the Global Giving Circle website.

Chocolate Party for Fair Trade Marks Non-profits Debut

by Caitlin McNamara

VALENTINE’S DAY MARKS THE soft launch of a brave new charitable group based in Brooklyn Heights. Global Giving Circle (GGC) organizer Shana Dressler plans to grab attention with some top tier chocolate.

The Feb. 14 Chocolate Tasting Extravaganza at Side Bar near Union Square will benefit Project Hope & Fairness, a not-for-profit that supports African cocoa farmers and their families. It is the first of five events Dressler plans to host this year before GGC’s official launch in December.

“I wanted our first event to be on Valentine’s Day because as much as it is a day of romance, it’s a day of love. Unfortunately many companies have capitalized on Valentine’s Day being another selling opportunity.

“In response to this, we decided we wanted to ‘bring it back to the people’ so to speak and focus on spreading love in the form of a benefit to help the cocoa farmers. Sadly, out of everyone working in the cocoa industry, they are the ones who earn the least amount of money.”

Dressler wants giving to be a community affair, which means making it fun and creative in a way to bring people together. For the tasting Dressler received an outpouring of generosity from chocolatiers and bakeries, many from New York and Brooklyn: Jacques Torres, The Chocolate Room, Baked, Theo, Vere, Sweet Riot, Fine & Raw, Divine Chocolate and others. For $25, cacao lovers can sample varieties of decadence from 3 to 5 p.m.

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