The Inaugural For the Love of Learning Gala

Benefiting Foundation for New Education Initiatives

Alberto & Maria Carvalho, Trish & Dan Bell

Foundation for New Education Initiatives, Inc. celebrated its inaugural For the Love of Learning Gala, attracting nearly 600 of Miami’s philanthropic and influential business leaders.

The gala, co-chaired by Maria & Alberto M. Carvalho, and Trish & Dan Bell, raised money to provide student scholarships, aid to homeless students, give students opportunities for students to attend cultural events, and resources for bridging the technology gap within Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The gala’s success can be attributed to the Foundation’s generous donors and sponsors.

The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception where guests were serenaded by the New World School of the Arts Jazz Combo. Later, WSVN’s Belkys Nerey welcomed guests and introduced NWSA senior, Danielle Navarrete, who sang a heartwarming rendition of “On Eagle’s Wings.” After the applause subsided, Rev. Dr. Laurinda Hafner, Senior Pastor at Coral Gables United Church of Christ led the blessing before the meal.

As guests enjoyed dinner, gala co-hosts and Silver Sponsors Trish and Dan Bell were welcomed to the stage with a warm round of applause. Trish graciously extended her thanks to the Foundation, the Superintendent, and Silver Sponsors Swanee & Paul DiMare and Dan Lewis, along with the many others who have supported the Foundation, including the Batchelor Foundation.

Ed & Lynn Miskiel, Whitney & David Haas

Afterward, Trish introduced co-host and Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. The Superintendent thanked the elegant crowd for choosing to spend their Valentine’s Day weekend at the gala. He touched on the needs within the District, the ways in which the Foundation (FNEI) is helping to fill them, and how M-DCPS and FNEI cannot do it alone. Rather, he said, it requires the caring and support of the likes of the community and business leaders in attendance.

FNEI Board Member Dave Marcus was welcomed to the stage and called the crowd to action to match the generous donation made by Nancy T. Hector. His request was greeted with enthusiasm, and as generous individuals texted and donated, the thermometers on the screens rose. As champagne toasts were made, Belkys came back to the stage and wished everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and beckoned them to dance and enjoy themselves. The band came onto the stage, and as they performed popular tunes such as “Uptown Funk”, guests danced merrily into the night.

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