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 sponsors for ‘Be Flamazing’ fundraising gala

Guadalupe Center has announced names of sponsors for its Be Flamazing fundraising gala on Jan. 16.

The Moglia Family Foundation on behalf of Amy & Paul Heuerman is the Presenting Sponsor. The Moglia Family Foundation is a Nebraska-based nonprofit founded in 2006 that primarily offers grants to education and health-related organizations.

Be Flamazing will 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. Proceeds will support Guadalupe Center’s trio of successful educational programs.

TD Ameritrade is the Diamond Sponsor for Be Flamazing, and Moorings Park Grande Lake-London Bay Development Group, Merrill Private Wealth Management and Seminole Casino Hotel are Platinum Sponsors.

Gold sponsors include Fifth Third Bank, Heatherwood Construction and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Naples Trust Company is the Silver Sponsor.

Gulfshore Life and Naples Daily News are Media Sponsors, and Auction Package Sponsors include Celebrity Cruises, Crown Jewelers of Naples, Phifer Pavitt Wine, Preferred Travel, Saks Fifth Avenue and Waterside Shops. Gulf Coast International Properties is the Patron Party Sponsor.

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

The Be Flamazing 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.

For more information about tickets and sponsorships, please call Jessica Vieira at 239-963-8769 or email JVieira@GuadalupeCenter.org.

Guadalupe Center seeking donations for Holiday Gift Shop

Guadalupe Center is accepting donations to restock its Holiday Gift Shop, an annual shopping experience that allows Immokalee parents to select Christmas presents for their children.

Now through Dec. 5, Guadalupe Center will accept new, unwrapped donations of toys, clothing, shoes and other gifts appropriate for infants through teenagers. In 2018, Guadalupe Center distributed gifts for 900 children, helping 328 Immokalee families put presents under the Christmas tree.

“The Holiday Gift Shop means everything to these parents, many of whom struggle with day-to-day living expenses, let alone the additional financial burden during the holidays,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “Each year, generous individuals, residential communities, local clubs and businesses contribute gifts and monetary donations that help make the Holiday Gift Shop a tremendous success.”

The Holiday Gift Shop is open to parents of children in Guadalupe Center programs. Donated items include new clothing and shoes, board games, dolls, bicycles, LEGO sets, books, stuffed animals and other toys, as well as gift cards for the teenagers. After parents select gifts, community volunteers then wrap the presents.

Guadalupe Center suggests the following age-appropriate gifts:

  • Infants and toddlers (0-2 years): infant gyms and bouncers, rattles, baby dolls, stacking rings, crib mobiles, bath toys, musical toys
  • Preschool-age children (3-5 years): building blocks, baby dolls, remote-controlled cars, popular children’s characters and superheroes, activity sets, Play-Doh
  • School-age children (6-12 years): Barbie dolls, action figures, LEGO kits, musical instruments, sporting goods, arts and crafts kits, riding toys
  • Teenagers (13-18): gift cards, non-violent video games, purses or wallets, hair accessories, wireless headphones, tabletop games, clothing featuring sports teams

The Holiday Gift Shop runs Dec. 9-13.

Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at Guadalupe Resale Shop at 12980 Tamiami Trail North, Unit 10, in Naples; or contact Ellie Ramirez at ERamirez@guadalupecenter.org to arrange for drop off at the Morgridge Family Early Childhood Education Campus at 509 Hope Circle in Immokalee. Alternatively, monetary donations can be made online at GuadalupeCenter.org.

Guadalupe Center staff will also be collecting gifts at Mercato, 911 Strada Place in Naples, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20 outside Bravo Italian Restaurant, and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5 on the event lawn.

For more information, please contact Bob Spano, vice president of programs, at RSpano@GuadalupeCenter.org or 239-657-7145.

Guadalupe Center receives $10,000 grant from NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival

The NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival has presented Guadalupe Center, beneficiary of the inaugural 2019 event, with a $10,000 grant to enhance educational programs for students in Immokalee.

The inaugural NaplesNEXT held in March 2019 drew hundreds of guests to rub shoulders with more than 50 thinkers and influencers who took to the stage to share their expertise across a diverse set of topics, including the environment, health and medicine, philanthropy, innovation and beyond. Four chief justices, three former White House chiefs of staff, legendary philanthropists, best-selling authors and esteemed editors of national publications were among the lineup.

Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization with a mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee, was one of the 2019 beneficiaries through a FoundationNEXT fund established through the Community Foundation of Collier County.

“We are incredibly grateful that NaplesNEXT chose to partner with Guadalupe Center and understands the potential impact that a strong education can have on the lives of children and their families,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “This grant will allow us to continue creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee.”

Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,300 students through its three primary programs, each of which produces outstanding results. More than 95% of students who complete the Early Childhood Education Program enter school having met or exceeded Florida’s kindergarten readiness standards. An astounding 100% of students in the After-school Tutoring Program show academic gains in reading and math, while 100% of Tutor Corps seniors graduate high school and are admitted into college.

Stacey Vollman Warwick, executive director of NaplesNEXT and senior vice president of Intersport, recently toured Guadalupe Center to see firsthand how the nonprofit is enhancing education for students in Immokalee.

“This is the impact that we envisioned for NaplesNEXT. The important work being done by the Guadalupe Center shows that big ideas can lead to a better future, and we are proud to share that mission with the Guadalupe Center,” said Warwick. “As part of our commitment to making a difference in Collier County, we are adding a State of the Community Summit to the NaplesNEXT 2020 schedule and will discuss the important impact that educational programs like the one at Guadalupe Center have on child wellbeing here in Florida and around the country.”

The NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival recently announced a partnership with the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, that will bring together distinguished members and elected leaders of Collier County, state and local representatives, and national experts to discuss their viewpoints on the current and future state of the landscape of child wellbeing at the second annual NaplesNEXT. Guadalupe Center is a longtime beneficiary of NCEF’s Naples Winter Wine Festival.

Register now to attend NaplesNEXT 2020 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples on March 2-3 by visiting NaplesNEXT.com. A portion of each registration fee is tax deductible and will benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation and other designated nonprofit beneficiaries through a FoundationNEXT fund established through the Community Foundation of Collier County.

Guadalupe Center enhances After-school Tutoring Program through grant from United Way of Collier County

Guadalupe Center is enhancing its successful After-school Tutoring Program through a generous grant from United Way of Collier County.

United Way is providing $46,000 to help fund an After-school Tutoring Program widely regarded as a difference-maker for children in Immokalee. Guadalupe Center’s program operates throughout the school year and serves 840 students in kindergarten, first and second grades who have scored below-level on county and state assessments.

Guadalupe Center’s teachers provide extra attention and support to ensure students reach the academic milestones required for success in school.

“It’s incredibly important to build a strong academic foundation at an early age, and 100% of students enrolled in our After-school Tutoring Program show learning gains in math and reading,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “The grant from United Way of Collier County will help us reach additional students who just need a little more support to catch up to their peers, and ultimately excel in the classroom and beyond.”

Guadalupe Center is one of 21 partner agencies supported by United Way of Collier County, which directs its assistance to organizations addressing health, education and financial stability. In 2018, United Way of Collier County raised a record $6.1 million, nearly doubling the 2017 total of $3.3 million as more than 3,000 individuals and organizations made donations or pledges.

Guadalupe Center’s After-school Program operates at all five elementary schools in Immokalee: Pinecrest, Highlands, Village Oaks, Lake Trafford and Eden Park.