Additional volunteers are needed to serve as chaperones and activity leaders for Guadalupe Center’s 27th annual Buddy Day, a nature-focused field trip to be held March 8 on Marco Island.

More than 100 second-graders in Guadalupe Center’s After-school Program will board buses in Immokalee en route to Hideaway Beach, where they’ll learn about and explore Southwest Florida’s unique coastal habitat with guidance from environmental experts and volunteers.

Buddy Day lessons include nature exploration with rangers from Everglades National Park, a birding program with rangers from Big Cypress National Preserve, a series of fun games run by Marco Island YMCA staff members and craft stations overseen by community volunteers.

“In the past, we’ve enjoyed great support from residents of Hideaway Beach, Fiddler’s Creek, Verona Walk and other communities in Collier County,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “As our After-school Program continues to increase in size, we need additional community volunteers to help make Buddy Day a success. It’s amazing to see how quickly our big buddies and little buddies bond, and some of our volunteers come back year after year because the experience is so rewarding.”

Buddy Day runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 8 at Hideaway Beach Club, 250 S. Beach Drive on Marco Island.

Guadalupe Center, which has a mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee, also credits sponsors for helping make Buddy Day a success. This year’s sponsors include Cheney Brothers, Culligan, FreshPoint, Hideaway Beach Club and Oakes Farms.

To volunteer for Buddy Day, please contact Kelly Hammer, Guadalupe Center’s director of community engagement, at 239-657-7158 or khammer@guadalupe.org, or visit GuadalupeCenter.org/apps/pages/volunteer.

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 meet or exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 92 percent graduate with a post-secondary degree.