The Immokalee Foundation’s annual Charity Classic Celebration on Nov. 14 raised more than .9 million, a record for fundraising events in the organization’s 23-year history, according to Joseph Zednik, TIF’s chairman of the board and event chair for the gala.
Nearly 350 guests gathered at The Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort along with 80 students representing TIF’s educational programs. With the theme “Hope Grows,” the event put the spotlight on TIF students who have gone on to rewarding careers. Those sharing their stories at Friday’s event included Jesus Abarca, a Florida State University graduate who now works in the management training program at Lipman in Manteca, Calif., and Brittany Gonzalez, who realized her dream of working in radio after graduating from Florida Gulf Coast University.
The biggest draw of the night was the Fund A Dream live bidding experience. Donors raised their paddles to make matching contributions from ,000 to 0,000 in support of programs in four categories: Immokalee Readers: Reading Readiness; Leadership Experiences & Life Skills: Tools to Succeed; Tutoring & Advocacy: Avenue of Achievement; and Scholarships/Post-Secondary Success.
Also contributing to the Charity Classic’s success was the annual Pro-Am golf tournament that took place Nov. 17 at The Old Collier Golf Club. At press time, projections were that the tournament would raise more than 5,000 — another fundraising record.
For more information about The Immokalee Foundation, including how to volunteer as a mentor, call 430-9122 or visit immokaleefoundation.o