Pathways Blog

The Immokalee Foundation’s Pro-Am tournament raises more than $550,000 for youth programs

A roster of who’s who on the national golf scene joined 104 philanthropic Southwest Florida golfers for the recent Charity Classic Pro-Am tournament to benefit The Immokalee Foundation. The event raised more than $550,000 for the foundation’s educational programs benefiting the youth of Immokalee.

Held Nov. 13 at The Old Collier Golf Club, the low-net tournament paired each amateur foursome with one of the 26 participating PGA and LPGA professionals for the first and second nine holes of play. Groups were determined at a pairings party at The Old Collier Golf Club on Nov. 12.

Professional players included LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and LPGA Major Champion and 2016 Olympian Lexi Thompson; PGA Tour pros Dominic Bozzelli, Mark Calcavecchia, Alex Cejka, Russ Cochran, Tom Gillis, Dudley Hart, Will MacKenzie, Steve Marino, George McNeill, Greg Owen, Charlie Rymer, Nicholas Thompson and Will Wilcox; and LPGA Tour pros Marina Alex, Brittany Altomare, Laura Diaz, Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, Dani Holmqvist, Vicky Hurst, Paige Mackenzie, Annie Park, Alena Sharp, Emma Talley and Kris Tamulis.

“I’m pleased to play today to support the excellent programs of The Immokalee Foundation,” said Thompson.

Tamulis, a native Southwest Floridian, said, “I’m so proud to support The Immokalee Foundation. We supported the organization when I was at Naples High, so it’s a cause that’s important to me.”

McNeill added, “I’m Naples born and proud to give back to the community and help the kids of Immokalee.”

Tournament winners included:
• First place, men: Chuck Freeman, David Griffith, David Gordley, Patrick Trittler with golf pros Annika Sorenstam and Nicholas Thompson
• First place, ladies: Joan Parekh, Sunny Sapiente, Cindy Tucci, Terry Caveney with golf pros Annie Park and George McNeill
• First place, mixed: Bruce Duncan, Deborah Duncan, Beth Chensoff, Gary Chensoff with golf pros Laura Diaz and Will Wilcox
• Second place, men: Bob Tucci, John Sapiente, Don Fites, Don Huffner with golf pros Emma Talley and Dominic Bozzelli
• Second place, ladies: Kathy Pryor, Marie Stonesifer, Louise Penta, Ann Stallkamp with golf pros Kris Tamulis and Mark Calcavecchia
• Second place, mixed: Don Redlinger, Peggy Redlinger, Kaye Negri, Peter Negri with golf pros Paige Mackenzie and Russ Cochran
• Closest to the pin, men: Don McCullough
• Closest to the pin, ladies: Sunny Sapiente

Kevin Johnson of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management chaired the scramble-style competition for the seventh year. Johnson’s co-chairs were Sunny Sapiente of Bay Colony Golf Club and Patrick Trittler of Marsh Private Client Services.

Corporate sponsors were Florida Community Bank, presenting sponsor; Huntington Private Client Group, Success Circle sponsor; BMO Private Wealth Bank and IBERIABANK, Pathway Circle sponsors; and eBella magazine, media 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, 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.

 

1st Place Ladies - Joan Parekh, Sunny Sapiente, David Lee, Annie Park, Cindy Tucci, Terry Caveney

1st Place Ladies – Joan Parekh, Sunny Sapiente, David Lee, Annie Park, Cindy Tucci, Terry Caveney

1st Place Mens - Sunny Sapiente, Nick Thompson, Chuck Freeman, David Griffith, David Gordley, Patrick Trittler, Annika Sorenstam

1st Place Mens – Sunny Sapiente, Nick Thompson, Chuck Freeman, David Griffith, David Gordley, Patrick Trittler, Annika Sorenstam

1st Place Mixed - Bruce Duncan, Deborah Duncan, Laura Diaz, Beth Chensoff, Gary Chensoff

1st Place Mixed – Bruce Duncan, Deborah Duncan, Laura Diaz, Beth Chensoff, Gary Chensoff

2nd Place Ladies - Kathy Pryor, Kris Tamulis, Marie Stonesifer, Louise Penta, Patrick Trittler (not pictured Ann Stallkamp)

2nd Place Ladies – Kathy Pryor, Kris Tamulis, Marie Stonesifer, Louise Penta, Patrick Trittler (not pictured Ann Stallkamp)

2nd Place Mens - Sunny Sapiente, Bob Tucci, John Sapiente, Emma Talley, Don Fites, Don Huffner, Patrick Trittler

2nd Place Mens – Sunny Sapiente, Bob Tucci, John Sapiente, Emma Talley, Don Fites, Don Huffner, Patrick Trittler

2nd Place Mixed - Don Redlinger, Peggy Redlinger, Russ Cochran, Kaye Negri, Peter Negri

2nd Place Mixed – Don Redlinger, Peggy Redlinger, Russ Cochran, Kaye Negri, Peter Negri

Closest-to-the-Pin Mens - Don McCulloch

Closest-to-the-Pin Mens – Don McCulloch

Closest-to-the-Pin Naples Beach Club Spa Package - Sunny Sapiente

Closest-to-the-Pin Naples Beach Club Spa Package – Sunny Sapiente

Emma Talley with The Immokalee Foundation student Gerardo Lugo

Emma Talley with The Immokalee Foundation student Gerardo Lugo

FCB team - Matt Paluch, Kent Ellert, Paige Mackenzie, Jim Baiter, Jesse Larsen

FCB team – Matt Paluch, Kent Ellert, Paige Mackenzie, Jim Baiter, Jesse Larsen

Event Chairs - Kevin Johnson, Sunny Sapiente, Patrick Trittler

Event Chairs – Kevin Johnson, Sunny Sapiente, Patrick Trittler

Lexi Thompson

Lexi Thompson

Annika Sorenstam, Tim Rosaforte, Lexi Thompson

Annika Sorenstam, Tim Rosaforte, Lexi Thompson

Brittany Altomare, Vicky Hurst, Annika Sorenstam, Alena Sharp

Brittany Altomare, Vicky Hurst, Annika Sorenstam, Alena Sharp

Don Fites, Lexi Thompson, Don Huffner

Don Fites, Lexi Thompson, Don Huffner

Kevin Johnson, Lexi Thompson, Joyce Hagen, Sunny Sapiente

Kevin Johnson, Lexi Thompson, Joyce Hagen, Sunny Sapiente

Michael Benson, Joyce Hagen, Annika Sorenstam, Peter Negri

Michael Benson, Joyce Hagen, Annika Sorenstam, Peter Negri

The Immokalee Foundation’s executive director serves as Principal for a Day at Pinecrest Elementary

Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, served as Principal for a Day alongside Dr. Susan Jordan, principal of Pinecrest Elementary School in Immokalee.

Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, served as Principal for a Day alongside Dr. Susan Jordan, principal of Pinecrest Elementary School in Immokalee.

Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, recently served as Principal for a Day at Pinecrest Elementary School in Immokalee. As part of his official duties, Kissinger assisted with the school’s morning telecast, handed out desserts at lunchtime, visited classrooms, and attended a leadership meeting with school department heads. He spent time listening, observing and learning.

“What a terrific opportunity to interact with school leadership, teachers and students through the course of a full day,” Kissinger said. “Even though The Immokalee Foundation is in classrooms each day, I gained insights that will be helpful to our programming.”

“Collier County Public Schools created the Principal for a Day program to provide members of the community a lesson in the challenges and accomplishments of the district’s principals and schools,” said Pinecrest Principal Dr. Susan Jordan. “The program has the potential to impress upon participants the dedication and motivation of the principal and staff, the students’ eagerness to learn, and the enormous number of services our schools offer.”

One of those services is The Immokalee Foundation’s Immokalee Readers program, which involves nearly 700 students at five Collier County elementary schools – 143 Pinecrest Elementary students, 21 high school-age student tutors and 17 teachers. The after-school program matches student tutors with the lowest-performing elementary school students to help the younger students gain proficiencies in reading. Certified teachers supervise the student tutors, who also serve as role models for their younger charges.

“During Steven’s day of service, we had a valuable discussion about the impact of the extended learning opportunities provided to our students by The Immokalee Foundation,” Jordan said. “As a school principal, I depend on our after-school programs to provide academics and support beyond the school day to our most fragile learners. The Immokalee Foundation’s Immokalee Readers program is an excellent example of this wraparound support.”

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, 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.

LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and No. 1-Ranked Lexi Thompson join The Immokalee Foundation’s Charity Classic Pro-Am

The Immokalee Foundation’s annual Charity Classic Pro-Am features nearly two dozen professional golfers – including LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and LPGA Major Champion and 2016 Olympian Lexi Thompson – who will join foursomes of philanthropic amateur players from Southwest Florida at The Old Collier Golf Club in Naples Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Chairing the scramble-style competition for the seventh year is Kevin Johnson of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Johnson’s co-chairs for the 2017 tournament are Sunny Sapiente of Bay Colony Golf Club and Patrick Trittler of Marsh Private Client Services.

Each amateur foursome will be paired with a different professional player for the first and second nine holes during an exclusive pairings party at Old Collier Sunday, Nov. 12.

The 11th annual tournament is attracting stellar talent. “This year’s tournament features a great field of professionals who are lending their support to help the children of Immokalee,” Johnson said, adding that this year’s golfers are some of the biggest names on the PGA and LPGA tours.

“We’re thrilled that Annika and Lexi are joining us this year,” said Sapiente. “They are both phenomenal golfers.”

Annika Sörenstam

Annika Sörenstam

Lexi Thompson

Lexi Thompson

Sorenstam, a 72-time LPGA champion and Hall of Famer, has earned 10 major titles, winning her first major at the age of 24 at the 1995 U.S. Women’s Open. She has secured 89 worldwide victories and holds a record number of eight Rolex Player of the Year Awards and six Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average in a season.

Thompson has 10 LPGA victories including one major, and she is the No. 1-ranked LPGA player in the world, with 51 top-10 finishes. The 2012 Rookie of the Year also won the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, 2017 Kingsmill Championship and 2017 Indy Women in Tech Championship, and tied for third in Round 3 of the Women’s Individual competition at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The roster of who’s who on the links also includes PGA Tour pros Briny Baird, Dominic Bozzelli, Mark Calcavecchia, Alex Cejka, Russ Cochran, Tom Gillis, Dudley Hart, Will MacKenzie, George McNeill, Greg Owen, Charlie Rymer and Will Wilcox; and LPGA Tour pros Marina Alex, Brittany Altomare, Laura Diaz, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Jaye Marie Green, Kim Kaufman, Alison Lee, Paige Mackenzie, Brooke Pancake, Alena Sharp and Kris Tamulis.

The Charity Classic Pro-Am begins at 7:30 a.m. with registration, breakfast and a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Lunch and an awards presentation follow the tournament. Entry fees begin at $5,000. The Old Collier Golf Club is located at 790 Main House Dr. in Naples.

Corporate sponsors of this year’s events are Florida Community Bank, Presenting sponsor; Huntington Private Client Group, Success Circle sponsor; BMO Private Wealth Bank and IBERIABANK, Pathway Circle sponsors; and eBella magazine, Media 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, 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 Foundation earns Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

The Immokalee Foundation recently earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency – the highest level of recognition – from GuideStar.

Nonprofits qualify for the Platinum Seal by demonstrating how they measure progress and results and using those metrics to effectively show how donors’ dollars are put to work. While the nonprofits themselves provide a great deal of the information considered, GuideStar compiles additional data from verified sources.

A trusted source for information about charities, GuideStar organizes and presents data and information about philanthropic organizations to help private companies, funding organizations and individual donors make wise decisions about the nonprofits they support. About 7 million people visit GuideStar.org every year, and its comprehensive database of nonprofits is available to millions more through additional charity platforms.

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, 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 Foundation again receives Charity Navigator’s highest rating

The Immokalee Foundation recently received the highest rating for its financial health, transparency and accountability from Charity Navigator, the foremost independent charity watchdog in the United States.

After examining the foundation’s income tax documents, its website and other data, Charity Navigator awarded the foundation four stars. The designation applies to charities considered “exceptional” that exceed industry standards and out-perform most similar charities.

According to Charity Navigator President and CEO Michael Thatcher, “This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets The Immokalee Foundation apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness. Only one-quarter of rated charities have achieved this distinction.”

“We work diligently to employ best practices in nonprofit management to help ensure we earn the trust of those who support our efforts,” said Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation. “It’s a true honor to again receive the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator in recognition of our efforts.”

Charity Navigator has rated 1.5 million American charities. To be rated at even a basic level, each nonprofit must meet certain accountability standards, including an obligation or willingness by a charity to explain its actions to its stakeholders and make available critical data about the organization.

Forbes, Business Week and Kiplinger’s Financial Magazine have profiled and written favorably about Charity Navigator’s data-driven method of evaluation.

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, 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.