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 

EVENT PAGE: Guadalupe Galaxy

‘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.