Pelican Marsh residents hit the courts to support Guadalupe Center

Pelican Marsh

The inaugural Pelican Marsh Tri-Court Challenge raised $22,465 to benefit educational programs at Guadalupe Center in Immokalee. 

Held Oct. 13 at Pelican Marsh in Naples, the volunteer-run event attracted 150 participants and featured tennis, bocce and pickleball, as well as a barbecue dinner, live music, silent auction, 50/50 drawing and raffle prizes. Proceeds will support the academic programs at Guadalupe Center that serve more than 1,750 students: the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. 

Two-person teams competed in a series of tennis, bocce and pickleball challenges, earning points for each activity. The winning team was Dee Vilardo and Joe Mulcahy. Two teams tied for second place: Gerry and Barry Hoffberg, and Julie Fields and Rita Hawaux. 

Cathy Aquino, Tina Mantel and Lynn Atzingen helped coordinate the event in partnership with Johann Saubier, director of court sports at Pelican Marsh. 

Pelican Marsh residents also collect and donate toys for Guadalupe Center’s annual Holiday Gift Shop, support back-to-school drives, mentor high school students in the Tutor Corps Program and volunteer at Guadalupe Resale Shop. 

“Our philanthropic and events teams plan a variety of fundraisers throughout the year, but volunteers from Pelican Marsh coordinated every detail for the Tri-Court Challenge, from setting rules and planning the menu to securing sponsors and soliciting raffle prizes,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “The entire community of Pelican Marsh is rallying behind Guadalupe Center and we’re so thankful for their support. It’s easy to see the generational impact we are having on students as they succeed in school, college and their careers.”