2018 Year in review

BE THE LIGHT Inaugural Year’s Shinning Light

We are eternally grateful for your generous support in keeping Ari’s light shining bright in helping others, and we are humbled by the outpour of genuine care. God is good.

Through the tragedy of Ari’s passing on July 28, 2018, we have found comfort and purpose in establishing the Ari Arteaga Foundation – BE THE LIGHT™, a non-for-profit organization under IRS Section 501(c)3. This foundation is a labor of love, honoring Ari and keeping his light and legacy alive as a beacon of hope for those living through unforeseen hardships.

We extend our utmost appreciation to the community for supporting the Ari Arteaga Foundation, as this has enabled our organization to directly help those in need of compassion and financial support. Successfully raised funds through two key events in 2018 – the BE THE LIGHT™ BOWL Flag Football Tournament that was held on November 11th and LIGHT THE NIGHT Kickoff Cocktail on November 16th. We have also been able to raise funds from the sale of our novelty items, i.e., bracelets, apparel, pop sockets, phone wallets, and other items.

We marvel at the continuous support received from the community as together we continue to grow the Ari Arteaga Foundation – BE THE LIGHT™. It takes a village!

We are committed to helping others in need through: 

SCHOLARSHIPS – 2018

Christopher Columbus High School

  • Bryan Martinez – Freshman (Scholarship granted on August 25, 2018.) Bryan’s mother, Jeimy Solis, is a single mother to three children. Her daughter, Melanie, is in a coma and needs 24-hour care. Jeimy is a public-school teacher and a large portion of her earnings go towards Melanie’s health care. Bryan is a great student in the Mas Program at Columbus and received straight A’s in his 1st and 2nd semester report card. He is on financial aid. The foundation covered the balance of his tuition.
  • Demetries Ford – Senior (Scholarship granted on August 27, 2018.) Demetrius is a close friend of Ari and his family is in need of financial assistance. Demetrius is a dedicated student. He is on financial aid. The foundation covered his tuition balance and graduation fee.
  • Mathew Healy – Junior (Scholarship granted on January 28, 2019.) Mathew’s mother, Barbara Cata, is a single mother of two children. She was admitted to Mount Sinai on January 21st where she went through the initial stage of a two-part surgery to remove a brain tumor. She is currently unemployed and has reached the end of her personal savings, as she had to use those funds to pay for the medical tests that diagnosed the tumor, as well as, the subsequent hospital bills. Her recovery will take 3 to 6 months. Mathew is currently on financial aid and his mother was unable to pay the balance and re-registration for Columbus. Mathew is a good student with solid academic standing. The foundation covered the balance of his tuition and re-registration fee.

BE THE LIGHT CLUB – Established in September 2018

Over 600 members, established at the following schools:

  • Christopher Columbus High School
  • Westminster Christian School
  • Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Academy
  • Riviera Preparatory

Establishing the club in other schools in our community:

  • Creating Guidelines
  • Developing a calendar of service and fundraising opportunities for individuals and other non-for-profit organizations that fit within BE THE LIGHT’s mission.
  • Launched the BE THE LIGHT Leadership Program February 8, 2019 with special guest speaker Alex Cora, manager of the Boston Red Sox, 2018 World Series Champions and Laz Gutierrez, Mental Skills Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox.
  • Developing relationships and supporting Project Up-Start (The Homeless Education Program for Children and Youth in Transition) through fundraising and community service.

BE THE LIGHT Shop – September 2018

Pop-up Shop – Selling apparel and accessories to spread BE THE LIGHT. Catering to youth and adults.

  • BE THE LIGHT / I AM BLESSED rubber bracelet
  • Rival United by the Light Ari Arteaga Foundation Columbus VS Belen Game Shirt
  • BE THE LIGHT Candle sale/fundraiser
  • BE THE LIGHT Apparel – Adult and Youth
  • BE THE LIGHT Pop Sockets
  • Ari Arteaga Foundation Phone Wallets
  • BE THE LIGHT Decals/magnets
  • BE THE LIGHT Christmas Ornaments

BE THE LIGHT™ Candle Fundraiser (month of October, 2018)

  • Due to government funding cuts, ‘Abriendo Puertas’ in Little Havana, a non-for profit after school program for students in kindergarten to 8th grade, decreased enrollment from 100 to 58 students. We raised $6,600 from the sale of the BE THE LIGHT Candles which provided scholarships to 15 qualified students as financial support to the families of these children, as well as, peace of mind knowing their child is in a safe and caring environment after school. BE THE LIGHT Club Members from Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart participated by hosting a 2-week fundraiser selling over 100 candles to help achieve our contribution.

BE THE LIGHT™ of the Party – October 27, 2018 at Florida Baptist Foster Home

  • Hosted a birthday party for the children born in the month of October with a group of volunteers from the BE THE LIGHT CLUB.

BE THE LIGHT™ Dream Getaway – Making dreams come true – November 2, 2018

  • A struggling family of 4 visited Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and SeaWorld family vacation for the first time, with a generous donation. The mother has been battling Stage 4 cancer and her 5 and 6-year-old daughters had always wanted to go to Disney World. We showered them with the light of joy and happy memories. The Mike Lowell Foundation partnered with us to make this dream come true.

BE THE LIGHT™ Buddy – November 3, 2018 at Friendship Circle Kendall

  • Being a friend of a special need’s child at The Friendship Circle, a non-for-profit organization

BE THE LIGHT BOWL Flag Football Tournament Fundraiser – November 11, 2018 at Kendall Boys & Girls Club – Raised $82,000

  • 480 participants made up of 4 divisions – 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade and high school
  • 5 game play
  • Over 1000 spectators
  • VIP Area
  • Bazaar
  • Kid Zone
  • Food Vendors
  • 2 DJ’s

Light the Night Kickoff Cocktail Fundraiser – November 16, 2018, Lennar Foundation Medical Center at The University of Miami – Raised $34,000

  • Thankful to celebrate with 350 guest, enjoying live entertainment and DJ. A silent auction was held

BE THE LIGHT™ at Thanksgiving – November 18, 2018. City of South Miami (INDICATE AMOUNT OF FUNDS RAISED?)

  • Collaborated with Stunnas Fit to receive donations, as they opened their facility to serve the families of South Miami.
  • On November 18th we fed our neighbors in need in the South Miami area
  • Purchased food and served a warm meal.
  • Hosted a Thanksgiving Food drive (canned and dried goods)
  • Donated 100 turkeys

BE THE LIGHT for Hungry Teens – December 10, 2018. Joined forces with Operation Day to Day and contributed $1,000 to help fill the pantry at Miami Southridge Senior High School for the teens from Project Up-Start.

BE THE LIGHT™ of Christmas – December 21, 2018. In 13 hours, raised $7,500.00.

  • Southridge High School – Fulfilled the Christmas Wish List of 29 Project Up-Start families (149 children/youth and parents). We purchased and received over 100 gift card donations and gifts.
  • Chapman Partnership – Toy drive for children from 3 years of age to 18 years old
  • Purchased and received toy and gift donations for kids from pre-school through high school

BE THE LIGHT Leadership Program – Presentations offered to the BE THE LIGHT Club members, hosted at Mark Light Stadium, University of Miami campus.

  • February 7, 2019 – Approximately 70 club members attended. Alex Cora, manager of the Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Champs and Laz Gutierrez, mental skills coordinator for the Red Sox, led the group with interactive activities and presentation. Laz discussed purpose, communication, self-awareness, seek information not affirmation, and how to invest in others. Alex spoke about connection, communication, preparation, and execution.
  • April 4, 2019 – Event started with an interesting and fun exercise on putting together a puzzle without viewing the final graphic. Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez spoke on how her life’s experiences prepared her for her current position.

BE THE LIGHT Youth in Transition

  • Assisted Elisabeth Altamirano, a Senior at South Ridge Senior High School and a Project UP_START youth who lives on her own, without family support. We helped her complete her senior year with gift cards and financial assistance.

BE THE LIGHT @ The Light – April 8, 2019 at Mark Light Stadium at the University of Miami Campus – Raised $12,000

  • Jesuit VS Florida Christian Varsity Baseball Game
  • Two great athletic programs in the Miami community came together to play a varsity baseball game fundraiser benefiting the Ari Arteaga Foundation. It was an evening of friendly competition with a supportive community.

BE THE LIGHT Toiletry Drive and Food Drive – February – April 2019

  • BE THE LIGHT CLUB and the Ari Arteaga Foundation hosted a toiletry drive and food drive benefiting the homeless kids in some of the community’s public high schools. Thanks to our caring community, we were able to collect a large number of toiletries and non-perishable food. The Ari Arteaga Foundation also purchased additional goods that were needed to complete the basic inventory. Volunteers from the clubs met regularly to sort the donated goods which were distributed among four different high schools, in order to stock their respective pantries.

BE THE LIGHT Domino Tropical Family Fest Fundraiser – May 18, 2019 at Christopher Columbus High School – Raised $22,000

  • Event was held at the Christopher Columbus Café, on a Saturday afternoon, with 16 teams of double 6 dominos and 32 teams of double 9 domino tournament play. We joined generations from high school students to senior citizens and all other ages in between. It could not have been planned any better as the final game at the championship table was played by 2 college female students with 2 seasoned senior citizen players. Wisdom took home the 1st place trophy. $22,000

Ari Arteaga Foundation – Direct Assistance – August 2019

  • Cypris Chatham is a 25-year-old single, hardworking young woman who recently adopted her 4 young siblings because the parents were unfit to raise them. Her young siblings were going to be split up and put in foster care. Cypris stepped in and formally adopted all of them. We assist her with a monthly gift card to help with the groceries as we know young children have a growing appetite and food can get quite expensive.

We hope this provides an overview for you to experience with us the joy it brings to help others in need of the light of love, compassion, and care. You are making a huge difference in many lives.

Thank you for supporting the Ari Arteaga Foundation – BE THE LIGHT™ as we work together in continuing to shine bright for others in need of light.

Be the Light Foundation® is a public, not-for profit corporation, and is a qualified charitable organization under section 501(C)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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