The annual event, themed “Fire & Ice: Igniting the Flame of Learning,” is chaired by Sandy Vasey and Linda Yost, longtime supporters of the Guadalupe Center.
The event helps provide financial support for education, mentoring and social enrichment programs that provide more than 1,000 children in Immokalee with a better opportunity for a successful future.
Fire & Ice will offer a night of live musical entertainment, a gourmet dinner and the opportunity to make on-the-spot donations for college scholarships during “Jump Up.” The event begins with a cocktail reception and a meet and greet with high school students enrolled in Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps program.
“It’s a very special opportunity for our patrons to be able to meet these gifted students and hear firsthand, personal stories about their challenges, hopes and dreams,” said Vasey.
“This past year, we celebrated 14 Tutor Corps graduates who are now enrolled in colleges around the country. We’re thankful to the many patrons who have helped make that possible.”
Guests at Fire & Ice also have the chance to bid on experiential and luxury live auction lots.
“It’s always fun creating unique experiences for our auctions and Fire & Ice will offer some pretty spectacular live auction lots,” said Yost.
Prime live auction lots will whisk winning bidders to fine dining in New York City, Napa Valley wine tastings and aboard a river cruiser in France. One will keep them right at home with a gourmet dinner for 10 created by former White House Presidential Chef Walter Scheib.
Another lot, the diamond and sapphire Orchid Bee ring, is perhaps the most poignant of the auction offerings, capturing the Guadalupe Center’s mission in full bloom. Custom designed by William Boyajian of Port Royal Jewelers in Naples, the ring symbolizes the center’s focus of a bright future and giving back to the next generation.
Cast in platinum and 18k yellow gold and set with multicolored diamonds and small pink sapphire accents, the ring features a white, green and yellow diamond bee. The dazzler was inspired by Tutor Corps student Elizabeth Cornelio’s photo and essay of a flower being passed to her niece.
“What better way to show my gratitude for what Guadalupe Tutor Corps has provided to me than giving the same to another,” Elizabeth wrote in her winning essay. “This program gave me that chance, that hope that has pushed me to become who I am today. I am the past, the present and the future, therefore I am instilling that same emotion, that same feeling of hope, opportunity, love, into my community, into my friends, into my family. The flower I am handing my niece is a symbol of all that this program has
provided me, because I understand that one day it will be her handing the same to another.”
Funds from Fire & Ice benefit the Guadalupe Center’s early childhood education, afterschool and Tutor Corps programs. For the past eight years, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school students have graduated. Students are hired as paid tutors to help their families while earning up to $4,000 a year in scholarship money for college. More than 90 percent of Guadalupe’s Tutor Corps graduate with a postsecondary degree and many return to Southwest Florida and the center.
Sponsorships are available as well as individual tickets starting at $500. Guadalupe Center is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty. For more than 30 years, the nonprofit organization has been serving the children and families of Immokalee. Its innovative early childhood education, afterschool tutoring, community mentoring and college
scholarship programs have earned national recognition, including the top four-star rating by Charity Navigator, America’s leading independent charity evaluator.
For more information about the Guadalupe Center and its signature event, visit www.GuadalupeCenter.org or call 239.657.7158.