Seven students attend summer camp in Maine

While many programs of The Immokalee Foundation focus on helping students inside the classroom, the organization’s board members and staff understand that not all learning experiences take place at a desk.

For several years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided students the chance to attend Kingsley Pines summer camp in Raymond, Maine – an experience that young people like Angel Mateo describe as “life-changing.”

angel-mateoMateo was one of the seven high school students awarded a scholarship to attend Kingsley Pines this past summer. Like other foundation programs, campers were chosen based on grades, involvement and accountability.

“I did so many first-time things at camp,” Mateo said. More than 30 activities are offered, including archery, windsurfing, crafts, basketball, tennis, rock climbing, canoeing, water sports, ceramics, photography and yoga. “I sailed for the first time – and it was my first time on a boat,” Mateo said. “I climbed my first mountain – it was something I’ll never forget.” Mateo saw the world from a mountaintop during those weeks, and also through the eyes of new friends who came from across the country as well as France, Germany and Spain.

Mauricio Lopez Trejo attended camp during the summer of 2015, and based on that experience, was one of a very select group invited to return the following summer for Kingsley Pines’ Teen Leadership Program, intended to help students develop skills in judgment, self-awareness, teaching and accountability. To ready the students for adulthood, the Teen Leadership Program fosters their independence and self-reliance during a camping outing for a week in Arcadia National Park.

mauricio-trejo“It was very exciting and beautiful,” Trejo said. For that week and the two that followed – filled with service learning projects and leadership opportunities – all of the Kingsley Pines students put away their cellular devices and made friends. “It’s funny, after two days, you just about forget you even had a phone,” Trejo said.

“Leadership Experiences and Life Skills” is one of the Fund A Dream™ auction categories at the Nov. 11 Charity Classic Celebration at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. The evening of fine dining and entertainment begins with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $550 per guest.

Due to the generosity of the event’s patrons, students like Mateo and Trejo experience the world in meaningful ways, such as attending Kingsley Pines.

Parker Collier, who joined with other community leaders to found The Immokalee Foundation in 1991, is honorary chair of the Charity Classic Celebration. Board members Don O’Neill, Mac McDonald and Jay “Dick” Stonesifer are co-chairing the foundation’s most important fundraising gala of the year, while board member Kevin Johnson is organizing the Nov. 14 golf tournament for the fifth consecutive year with Mark Lye, a Golf Channel analyst who is one of The Immokalee Foundation’s Pro-Am founders.

This year’s theme, “25 Years of We Are Immokalee,” highlights the successes of Immokalee students through the combined support of the nonprofit’s benefactors, board members, corporate sponsors, mentors, community partners, instructors and volunteers.

The Immokalee Foundation’s Charity Classic Pro-Am at Bay Colony Golf Club in Naples matches more than two dozen of the world’s greatest golfers – including 2016 PGA Champion Jimmy Walker and LPGA Major winner and 2016 Olympian Lexi Thompson – with Naples’ most philanthropic players during an exclusive pairings party at The Old Collier Golf Club on Nov. 13. Each foursome is joined by a different professional player for the first and second nine holes. The scramble-style tournament is $5,000 per entrant and includes two tickets for the Charity Classic Celebration.

Corporate sponsors of this year’s events are Florida Community Bank, Presenting sponsor; Arthrex Inc. and Caterpillar Inc., Partner Circle sponsors; Kelly Tractor, Education Circle sponsor; Naples Illustrated and Naples Daily News, Media sponsors; Huntington Bank, Success Circle sponsor; Hertz Global Holdings, Fifth Third Bank, Mercedes-Benz of Naples, MidwestOne Bank, Progress Rail – A Caterpillar Corporation, and Sabadell Bank, Pathways Circle sponsors; Northern Trust, Table sponsor; and Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Pairings Party sponsor.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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