Two years ago, a group of friends began talking about different local charities and causes. They decided to try to do something together as a group, to raise funds in an effort to make a real impact. The group, founded by Paula Cummings, dubbed themselves the “Island Angels.”
Some may have taken it lightly, but with their inaugural event, this energized group raised over $18,500, which they donated to the American Cancer Society. This year, for their third event, they have taken on another cause. The Island Angels are hosting a benefit for Nicole Cholka’s modified curriculum/special education class of Lely High School, at Bistro Soleil on Thursday, March 3rd from 6-8 PM.
Nicole Cholka teaches in a self-contained classroom, consisting of seven students with moderate cognitive and physical impairments. The students range in age from 14 to 22 years old, and are truly the most kind-hearted, inspirational young adults you will ever meet. Nicole’s classroom curriculum focuses on functional academics and life skills to help these very special students become as independent as possible after graduation. Island Angels take this need very seriously, as there are very few resources available to them beyond the public school system.
Part of Nicole’s curriculum involves running a Breakfast Café out of the kitchen in the back of their classroom. Every morning, the students and Nicole cook breakfast for staff at the school. Students learn important life skills, such as answering phones and emails, taking orders, cooking, cleaning, laundry, cash register skills, delivering meals, and grocery planning and purchasing. Over the last five years their cafe has grown to now averaging between 20-30 orders a day! That being said, their classroom kitchen was never designed to support a large breakfast business. All of their appliances are over 20 years old and need updating. The benefit Island Angels are hosting on March 3rd at Bistro Soleil will go to remedy this. The goal is to raise $25,000 to purchase new appliances and update their facility. If possible, since many of the students have never been to Disney World, Island Angels would love to raise enough to give them this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as well.
So come, eat, drink, have fun and be charitable! From 6-8 PM at Bistro Soleil at the Olde Marco Inn, 100 Palm Street, Marco Island. Tickets are $25, and include heavy hors d’oeuvres. (A cash bar will be available.) RSVP by Monday, February 22, 2016 to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Paula Cummings at 920-660-6363. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made to Lely High School (memo: MC2 Class Fund.)