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Jorge Portela Memorial Scholarship fundraiser raises money for college-bound Auburn students | Key Biscayne


A fishing and diving tournament, followed by dinner at Key Biscayne Beach Club, to raise funds for the 25th annual Jorge Portela Memorial Scholarship is set for Saturday, June 18. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit one student from public school or private school who was accepted to attend Auburn University.

Dinner at the beach club, at 685 Ocean Drive, runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The event was named after longtime Key Biscayne resident George Portela, an engineer who graduated from Auburn University, in coordination with the Key Biscayne Community Foundation.

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Jorge Portela Alaska

Portela’s son, J.P. Portela, said his father passed away in 1997 at the age of 38. The scholarship was established by the family and KBCF for a student planning to enroll at his alma mater. 

“It started out as a family and friends tournament,” said Portela, a real estate developer who lives in Coral Gables, adding that they never intended it to be a fundraiser. “Through the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, we were able to raise money for college scholarships for students living in South Florida.”

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The scholarship program is open to all students living in South Florida. The scholarship covers half of the winner’s college tuition for four years.

His father said that Auburn sets its own requirements for scholarship winners, including an essay and maintaining a certain grade point average.

Portela Senior,  who was born in Cuba and moved to Key Biscayne when he was a child,  loved his alma mater, where he played football from 1979-1981.

Portela considered following in his father’s footsteps to Auburn, but ultimately chose the state of Florida’s scholarship programs and attended the University of Florida. “I couldn’t pass up the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship,” he said. 

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Pre-sale tickets for Saturday’s fundraiser ended June 12, but Portela said tickets are still available. The event includes a live band, open bar and buffet dinner featuring the catch of the day. Children aged 10 and under are free.

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or by calling (305) 361-2770. 

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