Guadalupe Center’s ‘Elevate the Journey’ gala set for Jan. 12

guadalupe center elevate the journe y logo

Guadalupe Center’s signature fundraising gala, Elevate the Journey of Endless Possibilities, will be held Jan. 12 at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón.

The mother-daughter team of Dyan Smith and Cortney Howgate are co-chairing Elevate, which features dinner, cocktails, student performances and speeches, and a live auction. The gala will also host a Jump Up for Education, an interactive call to action in which attendees can make donations and jump up in support of Guadalupe Center.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and a Master of Arts degree in educational psychology and statistics from the University of Iowa. She started her career in education before shifting her focus to nonprofit leadership. Howgate received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from Iowa State University and a Grand Diplome from Cordon Bleu in London. She has focused her career on event management for charitable organizations and businesses. Both serve on the board of directors for Hillcrest Holdings, a family-owned investment company.

Each year, Guadalupe Center’s gala is among Southwest Florida’s top fundraising events, attracting hundreds of community, business and philanthropic leaders.

“Our signature gala helps generate financial resources to operate our programs, of course, but the event also tells a story about the impact of education, philanthropy and mentoring on the lives of children and families in Immokalee,” said Guadalupe Center President and CEO Dawn Montecalvo. “Elevate allows guests to interact with students whose lives are being transformed through their generosity while recognizing that education truly does create endless possibilities and hope for a brighter future.”

Guadalupe Center’s mission is to create a cycle of prosperity through education for the children of Immokalee. Many of the 1,950 students enrolled in Guadalupe Center programs are the children of farmworkers, day laborers and hospitality workers. Immokalee has one of Florida’s highest rates of poverty at 28.4% of households and one of the state’s lowest rates of educational attainment, with just 51.9% of adults having completed high school.

Guadalupe Center offers a nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. The nonprofit also offers Smart Start, a family literacy program for both children and parents, and facilitates Collier County’s Teenagers as Parents Program at Immokalee High School.

Details: Elevate the Journey

Elevate the Journey will be held Friday, Jan. 12 at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón, 2600 Tiburón Drive in Naples. Tickets are $750 each. A variety of sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available.

For tickets or sponsorship information: