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Guadalupe Center invites 13 Immokalee families to Easter meal and holiday celebration

Guadalupe Center, in partnership with nine Southwest Florida businesses, will provide a complete Easter meal and holiday celebration for 13 Immokalee families severely impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee, in partnership with Tastebuds Custom Catering and CocoLuna Events, will host a catered Easter meal on Saturday, March 24 at the Guadalupe Center. A total of 57 Guadalupe Center parents, children and staff members will attend.

A number of families in attendance are in the process of having their hurricane-ravaged homes repaired or completely replaced with funds raised by the Guadalupe Center.

“Many Immokalee families still haven’t fully recovered from financial and property losses caused by Hurricane Irma, so with our generous business partners, we’re able to provide a traditional Easter feast, children’s activities and an Easter egg hunt for these 13 families,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of the Guadalupe Center. “Spring signals a time of hope and new beginnings, so our intent is for this event to help families hardest hit by Hurricane Irma look to the future.”

Business partners for the holiday celebration include:

  • CocoLuna Events: providing event coordination and stuffed animals for children
  • Tastebuds Custom Catering: providing complete Easter feast and desserts
  • Tom Trovato Event Floral & Design: providing table and room arrangements
  • Luminaire Foto: providing family photos for guests to bring home
  • Taylor Rental of Naples: providing three teen-friendly games
  • Marvin D. Rouse: providing 6-foot by 3-foot drawing that children can color
  • Linens by the Sea: providing table linens for the food service
  • A DJ with Class: providing music at the celebration
  • Ventriloquist Brenda Stelzer: providing entertainment for guests


Courtney Armen, owner of CocoLuna Events, said her husband purchased dozens of stuffed animals after Easter last year, so the couple knew they would do something special this spring – they just didn’t know what. After bouncing around ideas with area vendors, they offered to coordinate an Easter event for the Guadalupe Center.

Tastebuds, a full-service, locally owned catering company known for creating fresh, custom menus for clients across Southwest Florida, is not only donating its culinary talent, but also the food for Guadalupe Center’s Easter meal.

Armen recalls prior experiences with Guadalupe Center students on field trips at the Naples Zoo, and marveled at their upbeat, positive attitudes.

“Considering the challenges they face every day and the fact that they have so little, these children show so much joy in life,” said Armen, whose company specializes in wedding planning, special events and corporate functions. “It’s exciting to partner with the Guadalupe Center and our generous vendors to help bring an amazing Easter meal and activities to these deserving families.”

The Easter meal will be served from 10 a.m. to noon on March 24 at the Guadalupe Center, 509 Hope Circle in Immokalee. Children’s activities include a Peter Rabbit ring toss, Easter duck pond, paper art and an Easter crafts table.

About Guadalupe Center
Guadalupe Center is a purpose-driven, nonprofit organization with proven results in creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee through education and fostering personal and academic success that leads to economic independence. With a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Guadalupe Center is proud of the children’s accomplishments: 94 percent exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 90 percent graduated with a post-secondary degree.

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