Hope Grows for Immokalee Youth

by Joe Zednik

Charity Classic Celebration

Thaana and Danarshley Pierre-Paul and Rose Celbeau heart TIF at 2013 Charity Classic Celebration

More than 20 years ago, The Immokalee Foundation set out to help improve the future of Immokalee’s youth by providing them with opportunities to learn, grow and succeed. Today, the foundation’s impact is felt throughout the community as it continues its mission to build pathways to success for students involved with TIF and its programs.

On Friday, Nov. 14 at The Ritz- Carlton, Naples, guests will have the opportunity to be a part of this important mission by helping to make students’ dreams come true during the 2014 Charity Classic Celebration dinner and auction. As event chair for a second time, I can promise the annual fundraising event is an extraordinary evening of fine dining, entertainment and auctions of once-in-a-lifetime experiences to benefit TIF students.

Children will be an integral part of the event, allowing benefactors plenty of time to meet and interact with the students whose lives they are impacting. This year’s theme, “In a Field of Dreams: Hope Grows,” will highlight the successes of TIF students and education programs, with opportunities to support their future during Fund A Dream, a unique live bidding experience enabling donors to contribute to Immokalee’s children in a specific and tangible way.

TIF students Alan Cuevas, Heather Martinez, Gerardo Lugo and Charity Gonzales with Eric Booker (pro) at 2013 Charity Classic Pro-Am

TIF students Alan Cuevas, Heather Martinez, Gerardo
Lugo and Charity Gonzales with Eric Booker (pro) at
2013 Charity Classic Pro-Am

Fund A Dream is organized into specific categories that provide students with opportunities to grow, learn and advance in a variety of ways. Auction items include opportunities to fund college and vocational scholarships, reading support and intervention, college success and experiences. Donors may also provide support to build leadership and life skills as well as fund studying abroad, access to the arts and technology, and youth leadership.

Golfers can take part in the festivities by teeing up with some of the biggest names in golf during the Charity Classic Pro-Am golf tournament Monday, Nov. 17 at The Old Collier Golf Club in Naples. This fundraising event will pair two dozen pro golfers with Naples most philanthropic players.

For the fourth year, TIF board member Kevin Johnson, with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, also a corporate sponsor, is chairing the Charity Classic Pro-Am golf tournament. Johnson is a passionate advocate for TIF and continues to donate his time and energy year after year. “If the Pro-Am is successful each year, then I know we are making a huge difference in the futures of many young people who otherwise might not have had a mentor or tutor growing up, or an opportunity to attend college.

This is life changing stuff we are doing.” Ticket prices for the Charity Classic Celebration dinner and auction are $550 per guest. Entry fees for the Pro-Am tournament begin at $5,000. All Pro- Am golfers will receive tickets to the Charity Classic Celebration dinner and auction. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are also available. For more information or to make reservations, contact The Immokalee Foundation at 239.430.9122, email info@immokaleefoundation.org or visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.

Sponsors of the 2014 Charity Classic Celebration and Pro-Am are Arthrex Inc., hope society; Fifth Third Bank, founding sponsor; Jaguar Naples, Porsche of Naples and Kelly Tractor, education circle sponsors; Naples Illustrated, media sponsor; GE Foundation, corporate matching sponsor; and Kevin Johnson with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and postsecondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about TIF, the Charity Classic Celebration, volunteering as a mentor or for additional information, call 239.430.9122 or visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.

Joe Zednik is chairman of the board of directors of The Immokalee Foundation and can be reached at jzednik@jzednik.com.

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