Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest ranks fourth highest-grossing charity auction by Wine Spectator

Cheryl and Dave Copham cheering by Michael Shapiro PhotographyWine Spectator has released its top 10 U.S. Charity Auctions of 2015, and the 2015 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest ranked fourth highest in the nation. Held at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, last year’s Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest raised $2.2 million through ticket sales and auction lots and brought in an additional $1.1 million through fund-a-need donations, bringing the total raised and donated to $3.3 million.

 

“We are honored that Wine Spectator has ranked the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest among the top-grossing wine fests in the country,” said Elaine Hawkins, board president of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “This was all possible due to the $350,000 contributed by generous trustees and sponsors to underwrite the cost of the event so that every dollar raised at the two-day festival serves our region’s children and students. To achieve this highly regarded ranking is a truly reflection of the generosity of the Southwest Florida community.”

 

The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $15.6 million over the past seven years. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. supports pediatric health care programs and provides scholarships for students at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest raises more than $2.8 million and counting to benefit pediatric health care

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Photo 1SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has raised more than $2.8 million and counting, with 100 percent of the proceeds directly benefitting pediatric health care in Southwest Florida. Made possible by title sponsor Pitbladdo Holdings, LLC, the two-day signature fundraising event featured Chef Vintner Dinners on Feb. 26 and The Grand Tasting & Live Auction on Feb. 27, where more than 300 came together at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club to raise money for SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s beneficiaries, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, and pediatric programs and scholarships at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College. Following The Grand Tasting & Live Auction, festivities concluded with a Relax & Re-Wine After Party at SS Hookers Waterfront Restaurant, hosted by the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest co-chairs Sandy Stilwell and Andie Vogt, which featured a live performance from award-winning country music entertainer and singer songwriter Billy Dean & Steel Horses.

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The highlight of the event was the Live Auction, which featured a selection of more than 40 exclusive domestic and international getaways, delectable wine and culinary offerings, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to be auctioned off to the highest bidders, with 100 percent of the proceeds to benefit SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s beneficiaries.

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“We are blown away by the generosity and kindness of the many guests, donors, sponsors, vintners, chefs and volunteers that participated in the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, and we are so grateful for all who came together to show their support of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., our beneficiaries and the countless children that will be impacted by the funds raised during this event,” said Sandy Stilwell, co-chair of the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. “The success of this year’s event is all thanks to the wonderful supporters who have shared their time and resources to support this cause, and simple words cannot express our gratitude for the many amazing individuals within our Southwest Florida community,” added event co-chair Andie Vogt.

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The most anticipated item up for bid during the Live Auction was the Cliff Williams and Mark Loren auction lot, featuring a signed bass guitar played by Cliff Williams, AC/DC bassist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry of an AC/DC guitar pick pendant adorned with diamonds and gems, suspended from an original Williams’ bass guitar string, created by international award-winning custom jewelry designer, Mark Loren. This highly coveted lot went for a total of $140,000 at the Wine & Food Fest, the highest single bid of the afternoon.

The once-in-a-lifetime package that received the most attention from auction-goers was an exclusive four-night trip for four people to the Bahamas, where the winning bidder will have the opportunity to enjoy a round of golf and day of fishing with Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open Champion and current #7 world-ranked professional golfer. After an intense competition amongst bidders, the auction closed with a winning bid of $100,000. Multiple international travel packages were also among the most popular auction lots. A classic African safari featuring 13 days in Kenya and Tanzania went for $55,000.

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The Southwest Florida recreation of the James Beard House-style gourmet dining experience was a popular item amongst auction-goers, raising $100,000. With bids of $5,000 per couple, 20 couples reserved their seats at Sea Salt Restaurant in Naples on Oct. 30, 2016, where they will enjoy an exclusive evening of culinary distinction, hosted by Southwest Florida’s award-winning chefs, Chef Fabrizio Aielli of Sea Salt, Chef Harold Balink of Harold’s, Chef Todd Johnson of Rumrunners and Chef Norman Love of Norman Love Confections.

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Generous vintner donors doubled their original donations to the Live Auction, allowing additional bidders to compete for an exclusive experience. A trip to Napa Valley for a five-night stay for eight at Gamble Family Vineyards was donated a second time, bringing in a total of $80,000 between the two bids. Honored Signature Vintner, Williams Selyem Winery, also donated another trip for guests to become winemakers for a day, with a three-night trip for four to Williams Selyem Winery, which raised a total of $40,000. In addition, Carter Cellars doubled their donation of a three-night wine country journey in Napa Valley and Humboldt County for four people including dinners, tours and tastings at Hotel Carter in Eurkea and Envy Wines, as well as original artwork by Sherri Carter. Sold twice, the Carter Cellars “Art of Wine” package went for a total of $40,000.

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In addition to the fun and excitement of the afternoon, the Live Auction also featured heartfelt examples of the event’s impact on children in Southwest Florida. As a young patient of Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, 2016 Child Artist Avery McCaskill’s touching story brought the room to tears, as her mother shared their unique experience with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s child artist program. Young Avery’s one-of-a-kind painting of an owl raised $150,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Her work of art will be put on display at the hospital for patients and visitors to enjoy.

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Dozens of enthusiastic attendees also raised their paddles to show their support for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida through SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s “Fund-a-Cause” initiative, “A Million Reasons to Give.”  To date, a record-setting total of more than $800,000 has been raised to help Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida provide the special surgical instruments and communication and monitoring technology that a state-of-the-art children’s hospital needs to effectively serve its patients. Donations of $100 and more continue to be accepted online, at swflwinefest.org/give-to-give/.

Dr. Amy Stanfill, pediatric surgeon at Golisano Children’s Hospital, shared her appreciation for the support of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and the local community:

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“I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, and I am honored to represent Golisano Children’s Hospital at such an inspirational event,” Dr. Stanfill said. “As a mother and a pediatric surgeon, I’m grateful to the many passionate and generous bidders. Thanks to the continued support of our community, we are better able to perform lifesaving surgeries on children in our community. This generously donated equipment can provide invaluable care and service to future generations for years to come.”

The afternoon concluded with the Pass the Hat portion of the Live Auction, where auction-goers generously added a variety of donations to the top hat, including cash, jewelry and college scholarships to FSW and FGCU, donated by the foundations of both institutions. The unique auction lot brought in a total of $60,000 at the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest.

For more information about SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. or its annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

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The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $15.6 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. supports pediatric health care programs and provides scholarships for students at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. announces vintners and chefs for The Grand Tasting at 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, tickets still available

2015 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest logo

Renowned vintners and Southwest Florida chefs have come together to support the mission of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. through their involvement in The Grand Tasting at the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, taking place Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. Vintners and chefs participating in The Grand Tasting will offer delectable wines and special bite-sized dishes for guests to enjoy as they mingle prior to the Live Auction. Tickets to the Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and to The Grand Tasting & Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 are still available and can be purchased by calling 239-433-4260 or visit www.swflwinefest.org.

During The Grand Tasting & Live Auction, guests will sip and savor luxurious wines poured by vintners hailing from Northern California’s wine country. Participating vintners include Williams Selyem Winery as the Honored Signature Vintner, Benovia Winery, Dakota Shy, Gamble Family Vineyards, Carter Cellars, Checkerboard Vineyards, Husic Vineyards, Saint Helena Winery, Revana, V Madrone Cellars and BRAND Napa Valley.

Guests will also indulge in extraordinary culinary creations from Southwest Florida’s premier chefs. Chefs participating in 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest include Nico Bogert, Monkey Bar Steak & Seafood; Ryan Cook, The Veranda; Cristof Danzi, Cristof’s on McGregor; Tim Duque, The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village; John Feagans, SS Hookers; Jason Grasty, Roy’s; Andrew Hunter, The Bayhouse; Andy Hyde, Chef Hyde Gourmet; Julian Lancrerot, Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club; Billy Mak, Blu Sushi; Keith Meyer, Trabue; Keith Nickerson, South Seas Island Resort; Brian Roland, Crave Culinaire; Thomas Sisson, South Seas Island Resort; Melissa Talmage, Sweet Melissa’s Café; and Anna Toole, Saboram.

“The 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest will feature phenomenal wine and culinary masterpieces that will create a fabulous afternoon for guests to enjoy, all thanks to the many generous vintners and chefs that are donating their time, talents and resources to making this year’s event a success,” said Art Cherry, trustee and wine committee chair for SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “We are very excited to offer such a unique selection of wines from the heart of wine country, while showcasing the best of our hometown’s flair for gastronomy, and we look forward to making a difference in the lives of the many young ones within our community.”

Following the Grand Tasting, guests will participate in the Live Auction, competing for the winning bid on a selection of 40 auction lots including exclusive getaways, delectable wine and culinary offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, with all proceeds to benefit SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s beneficiaries, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University.

The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised and donated $12.8 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. supports pediatric health care programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

AC/DC’s Cliff Williams’ bass guitar and Mark Loren custom jewelry up for bid at 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest

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A piece of rock legend history is up for bid in Southwest Florida: a signed bass guitar played by Cliff Williams, AC/DC bassist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. The Music Man Stingray Bass signed bass guitar is one of Cliff’s preferred basses, he has used this very instrument (serial number BOO8629) for both recording and touring since 1977. It is one of only five basses that he has played on tour and in the recording studio, and the only to be donated. Adding to tPhoto 1 - Cliff Williamshis rock star lot, international award-winning custom jewelry designer, Mark Loren, will also include a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry of an AC/DC guitar pick pendant adorned with diamonds and gems, suspended from an origina
l Williams’ bass guitar string. In addition, the auction lot is paired with two Janzen Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Napa Valley 2012 1.5 L bottles, donated by Dave and Cheryl Copham, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. trustees. This exclusive auction lot package will be available for bid during the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, an annual signature fundraising event that benefits organizations dedicated to the health of Southwest Florida children.

“Cliff and Georgeanne Williams are long-time supporters of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., and this donation represents their passion and commitment to addressing the needs of children’s health care in Southwest Florida,” said Dave Photo 3 - Mark Loren Designs - BackCopham. “This is once-in-a-lifetime chance to own one of Cliff’s favorite basses that he has played on tours throughout the world. Cliff tells me that he might even ask to borrow it from time to time, making this piece of rock history even more valuable for the top bidder.”

The two-day 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest event includes private Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. During the Live Auction, bidders will compete for the winning bid on a selection of 40 auction lots including exclusive getaways, delectable wine and culinary offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, with all proceeds to benefit SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s beneficiaries, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida SouthWestern State College and FloridPhoto 2 - Mark Loren Designs - Fronta Gulf Coast University.

If you are interested in attending or bidding on the Cliff Williams auction lot, please call 239-433-4260 or email info@swflwinefest.org.  For a glimpse into the selection of other lots that will be available for bid at the 2016 Live Auction, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, SAMSUNG CSChas raised and donated $12.8 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. supports pediatric health care programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. reveals auction lots up for bid at 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest

2015 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest logo

SAMSUNG CSCSWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has revealed the selection of exclusive getaways, delectable wine and culinary offerings, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to be auctioned off to the highest bidders during its annual signature event, the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. At the Live Auction, held Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, guests will have the opportunity to raise their paddles for a chance to acquire phenomenal offerings, made possible through donations by trustees and friends of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, as well as through the travel services of Preferred Travel of Naples, Inc. Nearly every lot will feature a selection of fine wine, generously provided by the organization’s trustees, donors and distinguished vintners.

One hundred percent of the live auction proceeds go directly to support SWFLChildren’s Charities, Inc. beneficiaries including Golisano Children’s Hospital and pediatric education programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For a list of the auction lots that will be available for bid, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

With this year’s auction lots, bidders will have the opportunity to compete for a wide variety of experiences and opportunities as they enjoy Pass the Hatgourmet food and wine. Amongst the 40 auction lots up for bid, await a selection of luxurious travel packages that will allow the highest bidders to explore a handful of the most popular destinations in Australia, take a two-day sport fishing charter on the bright blue Costa Rican ocean waters or go on an adventurous Kenya and Tanzania safari through the wilderness, enjoying unparalleled views of the region’s most regal animals.

Those looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences will encounter a variety of opportunities including the chance to own a piece of rock legend history, a signed bass guitar from AC/DC musician, Cliff Williams, one of his five working bases, serial number BOO8629, that was recently played in Australia as part of the band’s ongoing “Rock or Bust” tour. Adding to this rock star lot is a one-of-a-kind, custom AC/DC guitar pick pendant adorned with diamonds and gems, suspended from an original Williams’ bass guitar string that was played on tour, from international award-winning custom jewelry designer, Mark Loren. Auction-goers can also place a bid for the opportunity to experience greatness with tickets to the 2016 Ryder Cup golf tournament, the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 or a LuKenya & Tanzaniake Bryan concert with meet-and-greet passes to meet the award-winning country music singer.

A testament to its name, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest will offer auction lots featuring exclusive wines from the nation’s most celebrated wineries and vineyards. During the Live Auction, bidders will have the opportunity to vie for some of the world’s finest wines, including the Fabulous Fifteen, a collection of wines that hold the coveted 100-point rating of international wine critic, Robert Parker. Wine lovers can also bid on the opportunity to expand their personal wine selection, or start a new collection with 96 bottles of fine wines paired with a custom wine closet designed just for the winning bidder. A variety of travel packages to renowned winery and vineyard destinations will be available, including a trip to Sonoma County for a stay at Benovia Winery, featuring wine tastings, dinner with renowned winemakers, a chance to golf with celebrities at the Schulz Celebrity Golf Classic and take a flight in a DC-3 airplane.2016 Child Artist - Avery McCaskill

Auction-goers interested in enjoying an exclusive evening of culinary distinction can bid on a James Beard House-style gourmet dining experience for 40 guests at Sea Salt Restaurant in Naples on Oct. 30, 2016, hosted by award-winning chefs. Additionally, with options for in-restaurant or in-home dining, bidders can compete for one-of-a-kind gastronomic experiences that will feature Southwest Florida’s talented chefs.

Every year, bidders give graciously to support pediatric health care in Southwest Florida. The “Child Artist” lot will allow guests to bid on a one-of-a-kind work of art created by 2016 Child Artist, Avery McCaskill, who is also a young patient of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “A Million Reasons to Give” will provide auction-goers the opportunity to help stock the new Golisano Children’s Hospital with tiny tools that enable pediatric surgeons to provide the highest level of surgical care for children, as well as important technology and equipment needed to ensure top quality care. During “Pass the Hat,” a top hat will be passed around the room, gathering unique and special items from guests in attendance. The contents will be donated to SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. beneficiaries as well.

The two-day 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest includes private Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

The SWFL ChildrCosta Rica - Penny Perfecten’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised and donated $12.8 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. supports pediatric health care programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. introduces Million Reasons to Give campaign to fund much-needed surgical equipment for new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

Children are not little adults, and pediatric health care requires special tools, equipment and technology that is made just for young patients. To help provide the special surgical instruments and communication and monitoring technology that a state-of-the-art children’s hospital needs to effectively serve its patients, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. presents “A Million Reasons to Give,” calling on auction bidders at the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest and the entire community to help fund approximately $1 million in tools, equipment and technology to ensure quality care for young patients at the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Serving the needs of patients at various ages and stages of development, from newborn infants and toddlers to school children and teens, pediatric surgeons require a large array of specialized surgical tools to safely and effectively perform lifesaving procedures.

“The instruments we need are physical things, but what you’re really providing is something intangible and so much more valuable,” said Dr. Amy Stanfill, pediatric surgeon at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “It’s lifesaving surgery on newborns that weigh less than five pounds. It’s surgery for a teenager that might literally change the course of his life. I can’t explain how needed this is, and I am overwhelmed by the generosity of this program.”

For the first time, the “Fund a Cause” initiative of the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is featured online, allowing anyone to view the list of equipment needs and to donate directly to the purchase of lifesaving equipment and technology at www.swflwinefest.org.

“They aren’t the same size, and they don’t communicate the same way, but children deserve lifesaving care that is equally safe and effective,” said Dorothy Fitzgerald, vice-president and a trustee of the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “And with the new Golisano Children’s Hospital preparing to open next year, it’s an opportune time to raise the funds and stock the new hospital with the most advanced surgical tools and technologies available for pediatric care. It’s a great way for not only the auction bidders to show their support, but everyone in the community can contribute.”

In addition to the need for new surgical tools, building a new children’s hospital has presented many opportunities to enhance the environment to better care for pediatric patients through advanced technologies. One example is the new smartphone technology communication devices that will be incorporated in the NICU. This new technology will enhance the way infants are monitored real time in their rooms. The interactive system is just one example of the many lifesaving medical devices donors can purchase for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital through “A Million Reasons to Give.”

“We have learned from some of the leading children’s hospitals across the country that new technology is critical to providing the highest quality care to our patients and families,” said Kathy Bridge-Liles, chief administrative officer, Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Just as many professionals rely on technology to achieve their goals, we will rely upon technology to protect the little ones in our care.”

Adding smartphone technology to the NICU at the new Golisano Children’s Hospital will cost approximately $350,000, a large portion of the $1 million “A Million Reasons to Give” fund. In addition to the state-of-the-art equipment needed, the innovation will be incorporated into the new hospital’s information technology system and hospital staff will be expertly trained.

“The new single-room NICUs require changes in the way nurses are alerted to patient needs,” added Bridge-Liles. “Other NICU technology experts, including those at Golisano Children’s Hospital at University of Rochester Medical Center, use this technology. We know that this technology is critical to providing the highest quality of care to our patients and families.”

The 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest events include the Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and The Grand Tasting & Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised and donated $12.8 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing charitable wine fests in the country. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the SWFL Children’s Charities supports healthcare programs and student scholarships at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

Photo 1: Infant warming beds are required in order to keep babies warm throughout surgical procedures.

Photo 2: Infant and Toddler Laparotomy Trays include tools that allow physicians to examine the abdominal organs of a baby or toddler.

Photo 3: The Philips Ambient MRI Environment allows patients to choose from several themes and watch as the room transforms into a relaxing ambience through calming sounds and soothing images.

Photo 4: Phoropters are used during an eye exam, as well as to identify problems such as astigmatism.

Photo 5: An OCT is a medical imaging technique that uses light to capture three dimensional images of structures within the eye, such as the optic nerve and retina.

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. announces 2015-2016 trustees of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest

2015 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest logo

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. introduces its 2015-2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest trustees, a group of community members who have dedicated their time and resources in support of the organization’s mission to benefit area children. Trustees include Liz and Jeff Allbritten, Dwayne Bergmann and Luis Insignares, Wilson Bradshaw, Bev and Art Cherry, Cheryl and Dave Copham, Dorothy and Ron Fitzgerald, Pat and David Gibbons, Elaine and Fred Hawkins, Rose O’Dell and Gary King, Vicki and Richard Pitbladdo, Sandra Stilwell, Debbie and Bill Toler, Ute and Franz Rosinus, Andie and Don Vogt and Maria and Wayne Wiles.

These individuals profoundly impact the lives and health of children in Southwest Florida through their support of the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and its annual signature event, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, to be held Feb. 26 and 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club.

“The trustees are loyal and passionate supporters of the organization’s mission and are instrumental in the growing success of the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and its signature event, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest,” said Elaine Hawkins, president of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “The trustees are charged with supporting the event in many ways, including hosting vintner dinners for the event, donating wine, serving on committees for various aspects of the two day event as well as underwriting the cost of the event. They are one of the many reasons that the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has received accolades as the top fundraising event in our community. Most importantly, they are among the greatest champions of children’s causes in our community and we are grateful for their continued support.”

For many trustees, the cause is personal. Trustees Maria and Wayne Wiles both have grandchildren that have benefitted from receiving pediatric care close to home.

“At just two weeks old, my grandson was diagnosed with liver disease at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida,” said Wayne Wiles, trustee for the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and founder of Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings.

“And my granddaughter was born with a heart condition,” added Wayne’s wife, Maria Wiles. “Both Wayne and I appreciate the value of having quality care for children and families in Southwest Florida, so that families can stay close to home while receiving the care they need. It helps keep a family together during a difficult time. So in honor of our grandchildren and families, we’re proud to support the advancement of pediatric healthcare in Southwest Florida.”

The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised nearly $15 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the SWFL Children’s Charities supports healthcare programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

SWFL Children’s Charities pledges $5 million for new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

thumbnail (3)New Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to be named in honor of Dr. Bob Arnall, affectionately

known as the Father of Golisano Children’s Hospital

To support the construction of a new, state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has pledged $5 million to the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida Capital Campaign. In recognition of the pledge, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has earned a naming opportunity, and will dedicate the new Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in memory of Dr. Bob Arnall.

Affectionately thumbnailknown as the “Father of Golisano Children’s Hospital,” Dr. Arnall was one of the first pediatricians in Southwest Florida, Lee Memorial Hospital System’s first medical director, and the Children’s Hospital’s second medical director. Dr. Arnall passed away five
years ago.

“Our board felt that the new PICU should be named in Dr. Arnall’s memory, in recognition of his passion, leadership and advocacy for pediatric healthcare in Southwest Florida,” said Bev Cherry, board member, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “As an organization dedicated to supporting children’s healthcare in our community, the dedication of the PICU is our way to honor his legacy and pay tribute to the man who helped establish pediatric healthcare in Southwest Florida.”

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is raising a total of $15 million for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and just completed their first pledge of $10 million. SWFL Children’s Charities is the second largest donor to the new building campaign, next to Tom Golisano.

The SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised nearly $15 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country.

The two-day 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest includes private Chef/Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and the Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

“To recognize Dr. Arnall and honor his commitment to the children of Southwest Florida with the dedication of the new PICU is one of the most admirable gestures I’ve encountered and truly memorializes the impact that he’s made to our health system, our community and the children of Southwest Florida,” said Jim Nathan, president of Lee Memorial Health System. “I’m forever grateful to the SWFL Children’s Charities for their continued generosity and support for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.”

SWFL Children’s Charities hosts the annual Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest each year, donating 100 percent of all proceeds primarily to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, as well as to Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University for scholarships for local students planning to study in the Health Sciences fields and stay in Southwest Florida. Many of those students will eventually work in the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

“The mission of Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Inc. continues to focus on advancing the healthcare services for children throughout our five-county region and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will be the main beneficiary of our support,” said Debbie Toler, board member, Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Inc. “Not only will America’s newest children’s hospital offer the most advanced care available, but it will help attract new physicians and health professionals that specialize in pediatrics to meet the growing needs of our community. This is especially important as our population continues to grow and younger families move to Southwest Florida.”

Scheduled for completion in early 2017, the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will include 128 beds for the care of local children along with the latest medical equipment and a specialty trained team of medical care providers. The 292,000-square-foot facility, currently under construction on the Health Park campus, will be completely dedicated to pediatric specialty care. Through the generous support of local residents and businesses, $91 million has been raised to help build the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is part of Lee Memorial Health System in Florida. It is the only acute care children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. The children’s hospital opened in 1994 within HealthPark Medical Center. The name was changed to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in 2012. Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, the primary fund raising entity for Golisano Children’s Hospital, is currently engaged in a major capital campaign to enhance pediatric hospital care in Southwest Florida by raising $100 million to build and equip a new 128-bed children’s hospital on the campus of Health Park Medical Center. For more info, visit ChildrensHospitalGoal.org.

For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. announces $1 million to be awarded to Florida SouthWestern State College’s School of Health Professions

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SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. signed a $1 million pledge to Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) to benefit the programs and students within FSW’s School of Health Professions. The gift may be used to purchase equipment, technology, software and for advanced training, or to award scholarships to qualifying students within the School of Health Professions program at FSW.

In recognition of the pledge and past donations from SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., the simulation lab at FSW will now be called the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. Simulation Center. FSW School of Health Professions offers simulation education to help students gain skills and confidence for real-world patient care scenarios. Specifically, FSW has used previous funds donated by SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. to purchase a birthing mother and newborn simulator, a pediatric simulator, a mechanical ventilator for practice skills on pediatric patients and an x-ray machine for pediatric patients treated at the Dental Hygiene Clinic.thumbnail (3)

“The need for work-ready health care professionals is growing exponentially in the Southwest Florida community, and this contribution from SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. will further enable our college to continue equipping students for success in this industry,” said Dr. Jeff Allbritten, president of FSW. “We are grateful to SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. for its dedication to pediatric healthcare. This organization’s generosity means our students will have exceptional training so when they graduate, they will make an immediate and positive impact for the medical needs of our region’s youthumbnail (4)th.”

The $1 million gift is payable in five annual installments of $200,000 beginning in June 2016. The contribution is raised through SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s annual signature event, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest and will be administered by FSW.

“At SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., our mission is to positively impact the health and lives of children, and we believe that there is no better place to start than with future healthcare professionals,” said Dave Copham, trustee and member of the board of directors, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “Our support begins with the dedicated individuals that will be caring for Southwest Florida children in medical settings, and strengthening healthcare programs like FSW’s will ensure that these children will receive the most advanced care from a team of well-trained medical professionals.”

The two-day 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest includes private Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and the Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. names Williams Selyem Winery as Honored Signature Vintner of 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest

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SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has named Williams Selyem as the Honored Signature Vintner of the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, an annual signature fundraisthumbnaiing event to benefit Southwest Florida children. Winemaker, Jeff Mangahas will represent the winery during the upcoming Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest events including the Signature Vintner Dinner in December, a Chef Vintner Dinner on Friday, Feb. 26 and The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

With an array of vineyards and growers throughout California, the internationally-acclaimed Williams Selyem Winery offers a premier selection of hand-crafted wines, including pinot noir, chardonnay, zinfandel and port vintages. The winery’s mission to make the best wines, from the best grapes, from the best growers has culminated in an assortment of complex and delectable wines that will incite the palate of any wine connoisseur.

“As honored signature vintner, Williams Selyem Winery plays an integral role in making this event a success and in changing lives of children in Southwest Florida,” said Andie Vogt, co-chair of the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. “Williams Selyem Winery offers a sublime collection of distinctive wines, and we know that our guests and fellow wine enthusiasts will love this selection.”

Head winemakthumbnailer of Willams Selyem Winery, Mangahas offers a unique perspective into the development of fine wines. A native of Washington, Mangahas graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Upon launching his career as a research scientist in Seattle, Mangahas explored the deep, tannic vintages of Washington’s varied wine regions. When his career took him to New York City, Mangahas discovered another facet to his fascination with wine through the art of pairing it with fresh and passionately prepared cuisine. During this time, Mangahas also visited the wine regions of France, where his scientific roots, desire to understand the process and ongoing curiosity to discover what made wine taste a certain way, ran wild. He traveled the French countryside of Burgundy and Bordeaux, sampling and discovering how place and climate can create subtle variations in the flavor and complexity of a bottle of wine. Mangahas realized his hobby needed to become his career, and enrolled in the Enology program at the University of California, Davis, graduating with his master’s in 2003. He has since cultivated his expertise through his work at Artesa Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield Winery and Hartford Family Winery, before joining Williams Selyem.

For more information about the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s Honored Signature Vintner, visit the Willams Selyem website at WilliamsSelyem.com.