Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) honors both individuals and organizations whose actions have made a positive contribution in the lives of those in our communities through their dedication to philanthropy. AFP’s Everglades Chapter will honor its 2016 Philanthropist of the Year, Eva Sugden Gomez, as well as many worthy volunteers and other recipients who make a difference in our community as a result of their generosity.
2016 PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR: EVA SUGDEN GOMEZ A member of a well-known philanthropic family, Eva’s relocation to Naples in 1996 began a long and distinguished tradition of thoughtful and generous benevolence spanning many organizations and serving numerous individuals. Eva is a dedicated patron of the arts, a strong proponent of Florida’s environmental preservation and supporter of educational advancement for youth. Eva’s continued involvement with FGCU, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, The Guadalupe Center, Champions for Learning, The Naples Players and many other organizations has granted opportunities for countless men, women and children in our community.
2016 OUTSTANDING PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATION: COLLIER’S RESERVE COUNTRY CLUB Through the dedicated resolve of residents and members at Collier’s Reserve Country Club, much is being accomplished to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Their 2016 annual fundraising event surpassed budgeted goals, bringing their 13-year total giving to Habitat for Humanity to well over $1.5 million. Collier’s Reserve Country Club volunteers participated in a holiday gift drive and, working closely with the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program, have donated more then 6,000 hours of volunteer labor, making it possible for hard-working families to purchase affordable homes. Past recipients of their support include The Shelter for Abused Women and Children, Baby Basics, Laces of Love, Pace Center for Girls and Naples Equestrian Challenge.
2016 OUTSTANDING PHILANTHROPIC YOUTH: DANIEL GONZALES-VASQUEZ A rising Senior at Immokalee High School, Daniel Gonzales-Vasquez is motivated to help others by their obvious need and humble appreciation. A key participant in The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Development program, Daniel often logs in more hours than is required through his high school, making it clear that his involvement goes beyond expectation. The son of a single mother, Daniel observes the hard work of others and strives to make things better for those less fortunate, whether it be distributing clothing and food, or registering over 400 hours teaching catechism classes at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Upon graduation in 2017, Daniel will become certified in early education and hopes to open his own early childcare business for migrant families.
2016 OUTSTANDING FUNDRAISING EXECUTIVE: BARBARA OPPENHEIM Their consummate director and advocate for a decade, Guadalupe Center’s Barbara Oppenheim’s tenure is a study in tremendous growth and expansion for the future of children and families in Immokalee. Programs and enrollment increased an astonishing 390 percent in that period of time, and the Center now provides services to more than 1,100 students. To accommodate such growth, Barbara captained a successful $11 million capital fundraising campaign culminating in the Early Childhood Education Center. A graduate of Greater Naples Leadership and former member of the Board of Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, Barbara is also active in numerous organizations. She is a member of the Subcommittee on Education for the District School Board of Collier County, the Future Ready Collier Management Team and the GPS Leadership Team for Out of School Time Initiative. Barbara is also a dedicated 12-year volunteer at the Naples Winter Wine Festival.
WHAT: National Philanthropy
WHERE: Hodges University,
2655 Northbrooke Drive, Naples
WHEN: 5-7p.m. Nov. 10, 2016
TICKETS: $60pp; Purchase tickets at