‘Be Flamazing’ gala shines spotlight on possibilities

As the leader of a nonprofit organization, potential donors and volunteers often ask me to explain Guadalupe Center’s mission. The official mission statement is to “break the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.”

The dots are easy to connect – a high-quality education is proven to result in higher wages and job stability, and thus a better standard of living. That serves as the basis for Guadalupe Center’s nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and Tutor Corps Program.

Statistics tell a story, but they don’t put a name or face to that story. That’s why Guadalupe Center students are front and center at all of our events.

At the flamingo-themed Be Flamazing gala on Jan. 16, children performed on stage for guests to showcase their music and performance talents. High school students served as greeters and ushers, striking up conversations with arriving guests and sharing their hopes for the future. And our keynote address wasn’t delivered by a motivational speaker, political figure or retired corporate executive. It was given by Alberta Morales, a senior in our college preparatory Tutor Corps Program.

Guests at Be Flamazing heard an incredible story of tragedy, perseverance and achievement.

Alberta’s father worked in construction and her mom was a stay-at-home mother. The family struggled, but got by until Alberta’s mother suddenly passed away. As the oldest sibling, Alberta was thrust into a parental role, preparing meals for her dad and three siblings in addition to taking care of household chores.

Two years later, Alberta discovered Guadalupe Center and its Tutor Corps Program, which offers guidance in college and career readiness, ACT and SAT test prep, mentorships, financial literacy and scholarship assistance, as well as an opportunity to earn wages by tutoring younger students, which helped supplement income for the family.

Ultimately, Alberta’s three siblings followed her to Guadalupe Center and are now receiving academic support so they, too, can excel in the classroom.

Every student at Guadalupe Center has a similar inspiring story, and thanks to the generosity of supporters, nearly 1,300 students are building an academic foundation that will carry them through school and beyond. Thirty corporate partners joined hundreds of guests and Be Flamazing’s presenting sponsor, the Moglia Family Foundation on behalf of Amy and Paul Heuerman, in raising an incredible $1.2 million to support Guadalupe Center’s educational programs and students like Alberta. Without philanthropic support, Guadalupe Center would not be able to create endless possibilities or make a lasting impact for the students of Immokalee.

To conclude her speech at the Be Flamazing gala, Alberta shared her plans for the future. After graduating from Immokalee High School in May, she will be attending Roberts Wesleyan College in New York, where she will major in business administration.

“The journey that has led me toward my mountain was a treacherous and fulfilling one,” Alberta said. “I would not change any of it, if it meant I would end up here with the opportunities and blessings of a lifetime.”

By Dawn Montecalvo, President of Guadalupe Center

Guadalupe Center raises $1.2 million at Be Flamazing gala

Guadalupe Center raised $1.2 million at Be Flamazing, a flamingo-themed gala that will enable the nonprofit to enhance and expand its educational programs in Immokalee.

Be Flamazing was held Jan. 16 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples and included a catered dinner, auction, jump-up and live entertainment, as well as opportunities to meet students whose lives are being impacted through philanthropic support. The live auction featured a fully customizable Italian excursion and other vacation packages, opulent jewelry, high fashion and more.

Proceeds from Be Flamazing will help support Guadalupe Center’s mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.

“The support from sponsors and guests of Be Flamazing will help provide an education that transforms the lives of local students,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “Nearly half of Immokalee families live in poverty, but education is helping to provide endless opportunities for students in our programs, including a college education and the chance for a rewarding, stable career.”

Guadalupe Center operates a nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college preparatory Tutor Corps Program.

The nonprofit’s gala has become one of Southwest Florida’s highest-grossing annual philanthropic events.

Be Flamazing’s presenting sponsor was the Moglia Family Foundation on behalf of Amy & Paul Heuerman. TD Ameritrade was the Diamond Sponsor, and Moorings Park Grande Lake-London Bay Development Group, Merrill Private Wealth Management, Seminole Casino Hotel and Waterside Shops were Platinum Sponsors. Gold sponsors included Fifth Third Bank, Heatherwood Construction and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Ficarra Design and Naples Trust Company were the Silver Sponsors.

Gulfshore Life and Naples Daily News were Media Sponsors, and Auction Package Sponsors included Celebrity Cruises, Crown Jewelers of Naples, Phifer Pavitt Winery, Preferred Travel, Roberto Coin, Saks Fifth Avenue and Waterside Shops. Gulf Coast International Properties was the Patron Party Sponsor.

Additionally, Annual Corporate Sponsors provided support for the gala and other events throughout the year. These included Carter, David Corban Architects PLLC, Huntington Private Bank, Life in Naples, Northern Trust, Priority Marketing, Synovus, Spotlight News and Tastebuds Custom Catering.

Italian adventure, Napa trip and Caribbean cruise among auction lots at Guadalupe Center’s ‘Be Flamazing’ gala on Jan. 16

Guadalupe Center has announced seven exclusive auction lots up for bid at its Jan. 16 fundraising gala, highlighted by a luxurious, fully customizable weeklong trip to Italy.

Be Flamazing is a flamingo-themed gala that includes a catered dinner, auction, jump-up and live entertainment, as well as opportunities to meet students whose lives are being impacted through philanthropic support. Proceeds from the event will support Guadalupe Center’s highly successful programs aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.

The auction lots include:

I Dream of Italy: Seven-night Italian vacation for two. Guests can customize their adventure by choosing excursions while staying in at least two of Belmond properties’ iconic locations, which include Florence, Tuscany, Ravello, Portofino, Venice and Taormina Mare. Courtesy of Preferred Travel of Naples.

Beautiful in Blue: Spectacular cocktail ring with almost 20 carats of natural aquamarine and a stunning nearly 2.5-carat diamond set in solid 18-karat white gold. Courtesy of Crown Jewelers of Naples.

Flamazing Food, Fashion and Footwear: Private champagne reception, Italian-themed gourmet dinner and wine pairing for eight at Waterside Shops. Each guest also will be able to go on a shoe-shopping spree to select a new pair of Gucci shoes. Additionally, the winning bidder will receive a luxury handbag. Courtesy of Waterside Shops.

Hidden Gems of Napa: Luxury four-day, three-night adventure to Calistoga in northern Napa Valley for three couples. Package includes exceptional accommodations, VIP tastings and tours at six renowned wineries in the region: Phifer Pavitt Winery, Fisher Vineyards, Arrow and Branch, Gamble Family, Peacock Vineyards and Rarecat Wines. Courtesy of Phifer Pavitt Winery.

A Taste of Southwest Florida: Fabulous collection of gift certificates for extravagant dining and entertainment experiences to enjoy the good life in Southwest Florida. Courtesy of the Be Flamazing Event Committee.

Beautiful Bangle: Roberto Coin bracelet from the Roman Barocco collection featuring a charming twisted gold alternating-pattern diamond station bangle. Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue and Roberto Coin.

Cruise the Caribbean: Seven-night Celebrity Cruise for two in a Verandah Stateroom aboard the stunning Celebrity Edge or Celebrity Apex deluxe vessels. Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises and Preferred Travel of Naples.

The gala’s presenting sponsor is the Moglia Family Foundation on behalf of Amy & Paul Heuerman.

Be Flamazing begins at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Drive in Naples. Tickets are $500 per person and available online at GuadalupeCenter.org/event/Be-Flamazing-Flamingle-With-Us, or by contacting Jessica Vieira at 239-963-8769 or JVieira@GuadalupeCenter.org.

Guadalupe Center announces ticket, sponsorship opportunities for ‘Be Flamazing’ fundraising gala

Guadalupe Center has announced the theme and event chairs for its annual gala, which raises funds that directly support the center’s educational programs in Immokalee.

“Be Flamazing” will be held Jan. 16 and feature flamingo-themed décor in a lively atmosphere playing off Southwest Florida’s tropical climate, as well as Guadalupe Center’s spirit of positivity that encourages every student to be amazing.

The gala begins at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Drive in Naples. Tickets are $500 per person and include a catered dinner, auction, jump-up and live entertainment, as well as opportunities to meet students whose lives are being impacted through philanthropic support.

Last year’s event, which had an Old Hollywood theme, raised $1.2 million. The gala is among the top annual charitable events in the greater Naples area.

Guadalupe Center’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. Proceeds from “Be Flamazing” will support the Early Childhood Education, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment, and Tutor Corps programs.

Co-chairing the event will be dedicated supporters Amy Heuerman, Joanne Keenan Miller and Julie Kapler.

Guadalupe Center also has announced sponsorship opportunities for “Be Flamazing” that include event tickets and recognition in event programs, marketing materials and at the event.

For more information about tickets and sponsorships, please call Jamie Brown at 239-963-8715 or email JBrown@GuadalupeCenter.org.