The Immokalee Foundation is gearing up for its signature Charity Classic events

by Noemi Y. Perez

Barbara and Dale Morrison

Chairs and committee members for The Immokalee Foundation have been busy planning and preparing for their most important fundraisers of the year – the Charity Classic Celebration and Charity Classic Pro-Am golf tournament.

The foundation’s signature events take place beginning Friday, November 8 through Monday, November 11 in Naples.

Janet and Jerry Belle and Barbara and Dale Morrison are co-chairs of this year’s Charity Classic Celebration, a gala featuring dinner, dancing, and an auction that supports the scholarships and programs of the foundation. The gala will be held November 8 at the Ritz-Carlton Naples, 280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd. A cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m., and dinner is at 7 p.m.

The festivities are a precursor to the most important part of the evening: the Fund A Dream auction, a live bidding experience that allows donors to contribute to Immokalee’s children in specific and tangible ways.

The auction supports programs that forge important career pathways for Immokalee youth through the foundation’s recently launched career model, “Rewarding Careers in the New Economy.”

Based on extensive research of in demand professions in Southwest Florida, the comprehensive new curriculum helps students – beginning in middle school – to follow educational and experiential pathways to their chosen careers. The model recognizes that many well paying jobs are available to students who earn industry recognized certifications and credentials, in addition to professions that require two- and four-year college degrees.

Janet and Jerry Belle

Serving with the Belles and the Morrisons on the gala committee are Dorothy and Chuck Campbell, Beverly and Arthur Cherry, Emily and John Costigan, Alison and Scott Douglas, Debraand John Griswold, Joyce Hagen and Don Fites, Karen Hendricks, Don Huffner, Joyce and Jim Kerridge, David Legus, Kathie and Jim Markiewicz, Sonia and Mac McDonald, Kaye and Peter Negri, Ellen and Don O’Neill, Louise Penta, Marnette and Paul Perry, Kathy and Steve Pryor, Linda and Craig Rydin, and Dee and Joe Zednik.

Bay Colony member Sunny Sapiente is again chairing the Charity Classic Pro-Am, to be held at The Old Collier Golf Club, 790 Main House Dr., on November 11. The day begins with registration and breakfast at7:30 a.m., and the shotgun start is at 9 a.m.

The scramble style tournament features some of Naples’ most philanthropic amateur golfers and two dozen of the biggest names in professional golf.

At the exclusive Pairings Party at Bay Colony Golf Club on November 10, groups of foursomes will learn which two professional golfers will join them for nine holes each during the following day’s tournament on the links at Old Collier.

Serving with Sapiente on the Pro-Am committee are Don Fites, Kristin Miller, Steve Pryor, Joe Sanda and John Tobe.

Tickets to the Charity Classic Celebration begin at $550 per person, and entry into the Pro-Am is $5,000 per golfer.

For more information or to register, call 239-430-9122 or visit

Sunny Sapiente

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence.

To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, its signature events, becoming a mentor, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit Noemi Y. Perez, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, can be reached at

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