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NAPLES, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2021) – Out of an abundance of caution and concern over COVID-19, The Immokalee Foundation has canceled its 2021 Charity Classic Celebration on Friday, Nov. 5.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of this year’s gala,” said Jerry Belle, chair of The Immokalee Foundation board of directors and co-chair of the 2021 Charity Classic Celebration. “This was not an easy decision, and we are saddened that we will not be able to join together during the 30th anniversary to celebrate and support The Immokalee Foundation’s mission of providing the youth of Immokalee with life-changing education and life skills.”

Longtime foundation supporters Jerry and Janet Belle and Tom and Carol Joseph were announced as co-chairs of the 2021 Charity Classic Celebration earlier this year.

The Charity Classic Celebration is the biggest fundraiser of the year for The Immokalee Foundation. The extraordinary evening would have provided opportunities for donors to contribute to Immokalee’s children in specific and tangible ways, such as funding scholarships and future career experiences that forge important pathways for Immokalee youth through the foundation’s Career Pathways program.

“While this cancellation removes our ability to publicly celebrate 30 years of success this year, we will continue to focus on what we can do, as opposed to what we can’t do,” said Noemi Y. Perez, CEO and president of The Immokalee Foundation. “This is the important message we teach our students every day. We’ve spent most of this year moving forward, and will continue to do so.”

The Charity Classic Pro-Am, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 6, and Monday, March 7, 2022, will continue as planned. The pro-am features an exclusive pairings party, followed by the golf professional-filled tournament the next day. Don Fites, a long-time passionate and generous supporter of The Immokalee Foundation, is chairing the Charity Classic Pro-Am.

For more information on sponsorship and ticket refunds or how to support the foundation in bridging the financial gap created by the gala cancellation, contact Melissa Phillips at 239-430-9122 or

For 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, becoming a mentor, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit

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