Guadalupe Galaxy fundraising gala will be held Jan. 20 at Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort

Guadalupe Center has announced the date and theme for its signature fundraising gala, an annual event that supports life-changing educational programs for students in Immokalee. 

Guadalupe Galaxy: Constellations of Hope, Charting the Future” begins at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20 and will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Drive in Naples. 

“Guadalupe Center has always been a hub of positivity and optimism, a place that gives hope to students and families in Immokalee as they work toward a brighter future,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “The event’s theme captures the essence of Guadalupe Center as we help build a strong educational foundation that will skyrocket student success in school, college and careers.” 

Event chairs for Guadalupe Galaxy are Bev Cherry and Debbie Toler. Both women are longtime supporters and current Board of Trustees members who are dedicated to building a strong future for students at Guadalupe Center. 

“I’m thrilled to be involved and co-chair Guadalupe Galaxy,” Toler said. “Guadalupe Center has such a tremendous impact in changing the lives of so many students through education. Our galaxy theme is so relevant in enabling kids to chart their future.” 

“This will be a fun event to celebrate the present and future successes of our true stars… our beautiful children, of course,” added Cherry, “and also the staff, volunteers, mentors, supporters, families and so many more!” 

Guadalupe Galaxy details

Guadalupe Galaxy will be an in-person event featuring heartwarming student performances and speakers, galaxy-inspired décor, the return of a live auction and out-of-this-world entertainment. The gala will include the popular Jump Up for Education, a lively interactive call to action that allows attendees to make donations and jump up to show their support for Guadalupe Center. 

In 2021, Guadalupe Center’s fundraising gala, Circtacular, was a virtual, circus-themed event that raised more than $1 million to support the nonprofit’s nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. Guadalupe Center’s mission is breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. 

Tickets are $500 per person with patron ticket packages. Table sponsorships also are available. 

Guadalupe Galaxy sponsorships and underwriting opportunities are available, including Invitation Sponsor ($7,500), Program Sponsor ($5,000), Student Experience Sponsor ($3,000) and Valet Sponsor ($2,000). Sponsorship opportunities include event tickets, recognition at the gala and marketing exposure. 

For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Special Events Coordinator Tammy Richelieu at 239-963-3668 or email TRichelieu@GuadalupeCenter.org. 

EVENT PAGE: Guadalupe Galaxy

Kelly Krupp promoted to vice president of philanthropy

Guadalupe Center has promoted Kelly Krupp, CFRE, to the position of vice president of philanthropy, a role that includes oversight of donor relations, fundraising and marketing.

Krupp helped lead “Guadalupe Center: 2020 & Beyond,” a successful capital and operating campaign that raised two-thirds of the nonprofit’s $24 million fundraising goal before the campaign even went public.

“Kelly connects people to our vision and mission, helping them fulfill their philanthropic goals,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “She engages their hearts and invites them to join us in breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. Her tremendous work and dedication to ‘2020 & Beyond’ allowed us to open the Monaghan Family Early Childhood Education Campus completely free of debt, and we anticipate doing the same for the van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning that is currently under construction.”

Krupp joined Guadalupe Center in 2014 as its grants manager before being promoted to director of major gifts, managing and cultivating relationships with current and future donors to help accomplish Guadalupe Center’s philanthropic goals. She was elevated to director of philanthropy in 2019 and senior director of philanthropy in 2020 before being promoted to vice president of philanthropy earlier this year.

In her new role, Krupp oversees a team that includes a director of annual giving, director of marketing and communications, resale shop manager, philanthropy coordinator, community outreach/engagement coordinator, database coordinator, special events coordinator and philanthropy officer.

Nearly 80% of Guadalupe Center’s annual revenue comes through private philanthropic support. The organization’s most recent annual operating budget was $7.9 million, which includes donations, grants and sales at Guadalupe Resale Shop.

Fundraising helps Guadalupe Center operate its nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,400 students annually.

Prior to joining Guadalupe Center, Krupp worked in donor relations for Habitat for Humanity of Collier County and served in management roles for retail stores and a human resources company. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Flagler College and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive through CFRE International, a designation that means Krupp has met a series of standards that include tenure in the profession, education and demonstrated fundraising achievement.

READ MORE: How to Give

Supporters ensure the show goes on for students in Immokalee

Southwest Florida loves a gala… The social aspects. The food. The décor. The ability to help a charitable cause.

Southwest Florida’s nonprofits love galas, too. Fundraising events amplify awareness for their causes and generate financial support that fuels their programs and services year-round.

One year ago, COVID-19 abruptly put an end to in-person gatherings. Today, the fundraising gala – a staple of high season in Naples – still hasn’t returned, at least in large gatherings.

Last spring, Guadalupe Center adopted a rallying cry of “The show must go on.” Education cannot stop because our children’s futures are riding on it. That’s why our teachers, staff and mentors immediately began connecting virtually to continue preparing students for the future.

Guadalupe Center’s annual fundraising gala, held every January, raises more than $1 million each year to fund education programs. Canceling the gala wouldn’t just cut $1 million from the budget; it would cut 1 million dreams and possibilities from the lives of students who depend on a high-quality education to overcome poverty. We couldn’t do that to our children, so, as we had been saying, the show must go on!

Circtacular was held Jan. 21 under the virtual big top. Going into it, there were questions about how the technology would work, whether guests would “attend” an event on their smart TV or tablet, and if attendees would donate in a less personal environment.

The livestream itself was entertaining, educational and enlightening. Circtacular played off its circus theme with special effects, circus acts, augmented reality and comedic performances. I was “volunteered” to take pies in the face if we met fundraising goals. We did, students gladly tossed cream pies at me during the livestream – nine times! – and I would gladly do it again to help raise money that supports our mission.

Circtacular was all about the unexpected. We didn’t know whether a virtual format would resonate with supporters, and they didn’t know exactly what the program would entail. We certainly didn’t want this to be just another Zoom presentation, so we set out to create a memorable, highly entertaining show that kept supporters on the edge of their seats.

During Circtacular, Guadalupe Center introduced its new “This is Me” campaign, which will tell the stories of Immokalee students whose lives are being transformed through education. “This is Me” stories showcase students’ determination, resilience and perseverance, and their stories prove that possibilities, opportunities and potential impact are endless.

The transformation in Immokalee has begun. It’s starting with education, and it’s starting at Guadalupe Center.

In-person galas typically feature live and silent auctions where guests can bid top dollar for exotic trips, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique gifts, but a livestreamed event presented too many logistical challenges. In-person galas also feature table sponsors, but that, too, couldn’t be part of a virtual event.

Instead, Guadalupe Center amplified its Jump Up for Education, which allows guests to make a donation and “jump up” to show their support. Unlike an auction, Jump Up supporters receive nothing in return. No trips to Europe. No dinner cruises. No jewelry. “Just” a donation to help transform a student’s life forever.

What were the results? Sixteen businesses and foundations stepped forward as Circtacular sponsors, and our virtual Jump Up for Education set an all-time fundraising record. In all, Guadalupe Center raised $1 million.

Our supporters stuck with us because they’re passionate about our cause and mission. Proceeds will allow Immokalee parents to send their children to a nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program. It will allow elementary-age students to attend the reading- and math-focused After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program. It will allow high school students to participate in the Tutor Corps Program, which not only prepares teens for college, but also provides scholarships so they can afford tuition.

Support helps students like Immokalee High School senior Marc Dorcin, whose family moved to the U.S. from Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Thanks to Guadalupe Center, “my future is filled with possibilities, including a college education,” he said.

Former Tutor Corps student Erika Arvizu, whose parents were migrant workers, received a full-ride college scholarship through Guadalupe Center and attended an out-of-state, private institution.

“It changed the trajectory of my life, and that is why I came back to Immokalee,” said Erika, who is now a first-grade teacher in Immokalee. “I know what Guadalupe Center did for me and I want to make sure other students have the same opportunities.”

Our team, our students and our community are incredibly grateful that the show did go on. The impacts of Circtacular will be felt for generations to come.

show goes on– By Dawn Montecalvo, President of Guadalupe Center

‘Circtacular’ raises over $950,000 for education programs in Immokalee

Guadalupe Center’s Circtacular, a circus-themed virtual fundraising extravaganza, raised more than $950,000 to support the nonprofit’s mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.

Livestreamed on Jan. 21 under the virtual big top, Circtacular was filled with special effects, comedic performances, compelling videos, heartfelt testimonials and traditional circus acts, including juggling, augmented reality, circus animals and an all-time favorite – pies in the face of Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo after online donations surpassed fundraising goals.

Guadalupe Center’s signature event is the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser and traditionally kicks off Naples’ winter season of philanthropic formal galas. In 2021, Circtacular instead was livestreamed to smart TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones across Southwest Florida and beyond.

“All year, our rallying cry has been ‘The show must go on,’ which refers to both Circtacular and our education programs,” Montecalvo said. “We have remained student focused and mission forward because, in our eyes, nothing can stop education as long as enough people passionately care about it. We are incredibly thankful for the unwavering support of our sponsors and donors who are helping rewrite the stars for students and families in Immokalee.”

Circtacular’s audience of philanthropists, business and community leaders, entrepreneurs and educators received patron party boxes filled with mementos, including a clown bowtie, animal crackers, locally-made custom cookies, popcorn and salsa, and Guadalupe Center accessories such as hats and face masks. The show’s interactive program featured dozens of students who are benefiting from contributions made by generous Guadalupe Center supporters.

During the show, current and former students shared their personal stories through “This Is Me,” a new campaign that introduces the talented, inspiring students of Immokalee to Southwest Florida. One of those students was Marc Dorcin, whose family moved to the U.S. from Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. He spoke no English at the time and was later assigned to remedial classes as a freshman at Immokalee High School. Now, after hard work under the tutelage of his mentors and staff at Guadalupe Center, Dorcin is enrolled in the rigorous Cambridge AICE program at school. Last year, his father passed away, and again Guadalupe Center stepped in to help, making sure he was still on track to graduate and pursue a college degree.

“Adversity is no longer my task-master; it will not control my future,” Dorcin said. “Instead, my future is filled with possibilities, including a college education.”

Circtacular’s primary fundraising mechanism was the Jump Up for Education, a lively interactive drive that allowed attendees to make a donation and “jump up” to show their support for Guadalupe Center. Donations large and small began pouring in, including a $100,000 match challenge from an anonymous donor.

Proceeds from Circtacular will support Guadalupe Center’s three educational programs: the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program.

Circtacular’s Big Top Sponsor was the Mary & Patrick McClain Foundation. Additional sponsors included Gamble Family Vineyards, Moorings Park Grande Lake/London Bay Development Group, Northern Trust, Priority Marketing, The Indium Corporation & Macartney Family Foundation, Heatherwood Construction, Waterside Shops, Carter, Elite Jets, Ficarra Design Associates and Infinite Professional Center. Media sponsors were Gulfshore Life/WINK, Life in Naples, Naples Daily News/LocaliQ and WAVV 101.1-FM.

Sharing co-hosting duties with Montecalvo was WINK News anchor Lindsey Sablan, who served as emcee. Auctioneer Greg Quiroga led the Jump Up for Education. 

WATCH: Circtacular

Tickets still available for Guadalupe Center’s ‘Circtacular’ on Jan. 21

Community members wanting to enhance education and create endless possibilities for students in Immokalee still have an opportunity to purchase tickets for Guadalupe Center’s Circtacular fundraising extravaganza.

The Jan. 21 virtual event will be livestreamed and help generate proceeds to support Guadalupe Center’s three educational programs: the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program.

“Our virtual event will be like one you’ve never seen before,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “Far from the experience of a Zoom call, Circtacular will be a lively production filled with special effects, comedic performances, compelling videos, heartfelt testimonials from our students and interactive ways for the audience to make a difference.”

Circtacular also features Jump Up for Education, a lively interactive drive that allows attendees to make a donation and jump up to show their support for Guadalupe Center.

Three ticket options are available: Big Top Patron ($500 per couple), Ringmaster Patron ($250 per couple) and Entertainer Patron ($100 per couple).

Guadalupe Center also has announced this year’s generous sponsors for Circtacular. They include:

Big Top Sponsor: Mary & Patrick McClain Foundation

Ringmaster Sponsors: Gamble Family Vineyards, Moorings Park Grande Lake/London Bay Development Group, Northern Trust, Priority Marketing and The Indium Corporation & Macartney Family Foundation

Rewrite the Stars Sponsors: Heatherwood Construction and Waterside Shops

Circus Troupe Sponsors: Carter, Elite Jets, Ficarra Design Associates and Infinite Professional Center

Media Sponsors: Gulfshore Life/WINK, Life in Naples, Naples Daily News/LocaliQ, Spotlight Magazine and WAVV 101.1-FM

Ticket and giving opportunities are available by visiting GuadalupeCenter.org/Circtacular. For more information, please contact Special Events Coordinator Tammy Richelieu at 239-963-3668 or email TRichelieu@GuadalupeCenter.org. 

Guadalupe Center opens ‘Jump Up for Education’ in advance of Circtacular

The show must go on, and Guadalupe Center’s Circtacular, a virtual fundraising extravaganza set for Jan. 21, already has kicked off with its popular Jump Up for Education.

The Jump Up for Education is traditionally the highlight of Guadalupe Center’s annual fundraising gala, a lively, interactive drive to generate support that funds lifechanging education programs and fuels opportunities. The Jump Up for Education was aptly named more than 10 years ago after longtime supporter Phil Beuth implored event attendees to make a donation and then jump up to show their support for Guadalupe Center.

In 2021, Circtacular will be a livestreamed event, allowing a virtual audience of philanthropists, business and community leaders, entrepreneurs and educators to follow online as students share their compelling stories of personal challenges, achievements and ambitious goals.

“This year, we can’t ‘Jump Up’ together, but we still need the community’s support to empower our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “We’re asking supporters to help make a million dreams come true, and that’s exactly what happens when you provide access to high-quality educational programs – you’re creating endless possibilities for the next generation.”

The Jump Up has provided tuition assistance that allows parents to afford a high-quality early learning program for their children, college scholarships that allow students to earn valuable postsecondary degrees and support to hire and train teachers who guide students toward academic success.

Supporters can contribute to the Jump Up for Education in advance or during Circtacular. All gifts will be recognized throughout the livestreamed event. Proceeds help provide high-quality learning opportunities for more than 1,400 students annually through Guadalupe Center’s nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program.

Ticket and giving opportunities are still available by visiting GuadalupeCenter.org/Circtacular. For more information, please contact Special Events Coordinator Tammy Richelieu at 239-963-3668 or email TRichelieu@GuadalupeCenter.org. 

‘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