Naples Wine Festival sponsors award $13M in grants to charities

William DeShazer/Staff
Pat Riley, middle, representing the Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board, accepts a check for $340,000 from Bob and Terry Edwards, left, Naples Children and Education Foundation trustees and 2013 festival chairs while Grant Chair Karen Scott looks on at the Bay Colony Golf Club on Monday March 18, 2013. $13.4 million in grants was awarded to charitable groups to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Collier County.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff Pat Riley, middle, representing the Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board, accepts a check for $340,000 from Bob and Terry Edwards, left, Naples Children and Education Foundation trustees and 2013 festival chairs while Grant Chair Karen Scott looks on at the Bay Colony Golf Club on Monday March 18, 2013. $13.4 million in grants was awarded to charitable groups to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Collier County.

Video from NBC-2
NWWF 2013 Co-Chairs, Terry and Bob Edwards

NWWF 2013 Co-Chairs, Terry and Bob Edwards

— Many young children have never been exposed to a swimming pool.

The Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition aims to eliminate tragedy that can come from curiosity when children get near water, and it has received a $50,000 grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) for its mission.

The 2-year-old coalition is one of 24 charities and four ongoing strategic initiatives receiving grants from NCEF totaling $13.4 million for 2013. Proceeds come from the annual Naples Winter Wine Festival, held in late January.

Trustees of NCEF, sponsors of the successful wine festival since 2001, held an awards ceremony Monday to distribute grants that ranged from $31,000 to more than $2.4 million for the ongoing pediatric oral health initiative.

With the first-time ever grant, the Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition will be able to enroll 750 at-risk children, ages 3 to 5, from Golden Gate and Immokalee in a 10-day program to teach them how to be safe in the water.

“This is a program that otherwise wouldn’t be available to these kids,” Dr. Todd Vedder, with the coalition, said at the ceremony. He also lauded NCEF for all it has done for disadvantaged children in Collier County.

“As a pediatrician, many of my patients are much better off because of the services you provide,” he said.

The 24 charities were awarded a total of $6.4 million, and the strategic initiatives were awarded a total of $7 million. Besides for the comprehensive dental program, the other three initiatives are focused on improving children’s vision through screenings and providing prescription glasses, provide out-of-school programs in Immokalee and help prevent childhood hunger.

Bob Edwards, festival chairman, said in a press release that hundreds of generous supporters made the grant awards possible.

The wine festival held Jan. 24 through 27 raised more than $8.5 million, an amount that was supplemented in Monday’s grant awards by using foundation reserves.

“While the festival’s vintner dinners and one-of-a-kind auction lots create memorable experiences, it’s abundantly clear that children in need are in supporters’ hearts and minds throughout the festivities,” Edwards said. “NCEF trustees share the joy of making a profound difference in children’s lives with all who contributed to this year’s festival.”

Several grant recipients referenced this year’s wine festival theme, “When Stars Align,” when they gave thanks for their grant. Monday’s ceremony was held at Bay Colony Golf Club in North Naples.

“Together we are the constellation of hope for the children,” Valerie Bostic, executive director of Immoklee Child Care Center, said about the work of all of the charities. The child care center was awarded $215,000.

Kim Minarich, executive director of Naples Equestrian Challenge, which provides therapeutic riding for physically and mentally challenged children, said the $100,000 grant will be used to expand physical therapy services for more kids and to buy assistance equipment for nonverbal children.

“I can tell you the stars have aligned for Naples Equestrian Challenge,” she said. “We’ve got some hard work to do and we are eager to do it.”

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County, which serves children who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse, received a $484,000 grant.

“We can’t do this without you and we are so appreciative,” said Jackie Stephens, the executive director.

Stephens said the injuries and trauma that she and her colleagues at the center see inflicted upon the children is mind-boggling.

“We say how does this happen? How does this happen?” she said.

Jane Billings, the new executive director of Friends of Foster Children of Southwest Florida, said this year’s grant of $360,000 will serve hundreds of children in foster care.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support,” she said.

Posted earlier

Trustees for the Naples Children & Education Foundation, sponsors of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, awarded $13.4 million in grants to charitable groups to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Collier County.

NCEF trustees awarded $6.4 million to 24 charitable groups to help finance programs for the next 12 months and another $7 million was awarded for multi-year strategic initiatives. The ongoing initiatives will continue to fight children's oral health diseases, to improve their vision through screenings and providing prescription glasses, to provide out-of-school programs in Immokalee; and to continue tackling childhood hunger.

A first-time grant recipient this year is the Safe & Healthy Children's Coalition, which is receiving $50,000 for a drowning prevention and water safety program for 1,000 at risk and underserved children in Immokalee and Golden Gate.

“Hundreds of generous festival supporters are behind these grant awards,” Bob Edwards, festival chairman, said in a press release. “While the festival's vintner dinners and one-of-a-kind auction lots create memorable experiences, it's abundantly clear that children in need are in supporters' hearts and minds throughout the festivities. NCEF trustees share the joy of making a profound difference in children's lives with all who contributed to this year's festival.”

The 2013 wine festival, held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, raised more than $8.5 million. Since its inception in 2001, the festival has raised $116 million.

Naples Children & Education Foundation - 2013 grant recipients

■ ABLE Academy - $250,000

■ Boys & Girls Club - $1,000,000

■ Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation - $100,000

■ Catholic Charities - $136,000

■ Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County - $484,000

■ Early Literacy and Learning Model Program - $350,000

■ Friends of Foster Children of Southwest Florida - $360,000

■ Fun Time Early Childhood Academy - $135,000

■ Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples - $200,000

■ Greater Marco Family YMCA - $265,000

■ Guadalupe Center of Immokalee - $725,000

■ Immokalee Child Care Center - $215,000

■ Immokalee Housing & Family Services - $85,000

■ Legal Aid for Collier Kids - $115,000

■ Naples Botanical Gardens - $61,000

■ Naples Equestrian Challenge - $100,000

■ Redlands Christian Migrant Association - $350,000

■ Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition - $50,000

■ Shelter for Abused Women & Children - $323,000

■ Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board - $340,000

■ St. Matthew’s House/St. Matt’s Camps for Kids Program - $31,000

■ Tutor Corps - $60,000

■ YMCA of the Palms - $395,000

■ Youth Haven - $300,000

Strategic Initiative Grants

■ “GPS Guidance Programs for Success” - Out of school time program in Immokalee - $2,160,000

■ Lunch Boxes of Love (phase two) - $1,000,000

■ “Now You See It” Pediatric vision/prescription eye glass initiative plus partnership with Lighthouse of Collier County - $1,500,000

■ Pediatric Oral Health Initiative $2,400,461

TOTAL - $13,490,461

© 2013 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 9

Trexler writes:

Wow, we are so fortunate to have these generous folks in our area and the benefits to all deserving means so much in their health and well being...

SeeFuture writes:

Thanks to all of the good people who helped so many. This is wonderful.

volochine writes:

I do admire the charity. I find it ironic that the height of the Naples Children and Education Foundation donations came in 2008 after a corrupt Wall Street raped the equity of real estate of a nation.

Today we have a sky-high Dow Jones average, and yet donations go down since 2008.

Forget the opinions. Just publish the numbers. Am I wrong in saying donations have gone down, despite a Wall Street boom?

jaygee writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bramble writes:

How come Boys Club got a million dollars and Catholic Charities only $136,000?

Anyway, it's a wonderful thing to see so much collected and spent on charities that serve needy kids. Kudos for digging into their reserves to bump up the giving this year.

gl1800 writes:

in response to volochine:

I do admire the charity. I find it ironic that the height of the Naples Children and Education Foundation donations came in 2008 after a corrupt Wall Street raped the equity of real estate of a nation.

Today we have a sky-high Dow Jones average, and yet donations go down since 2008.

Forget the opinions. Just publish the numbers. Am I wrong in saying donations have gone down, despite a Wall Street boom?

One reason is the new tax code's limitation on itemized deductions, whether for charities or mortgage interest. Another is the higher tax rate the wealthy are now in. Someone has to pay for those free Obama cellphones.

fritobandito writes:

in response to gl1800:

One reason is the new tax code's limitation on itemized deductions, whether for charities or mortgage interest. Another is the higher tax rate the wealthy are now in. Someone has to pay for those free Obama cellphones.

Please, shut up about this already.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/...

Ruskin writes:

in response to jaygee:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You would be correct.

AbeFrohman writes:

Let me get this straight...the richest 1 percent in the world have to pay a few extra bucks in taxes and because of that they donate less to charity even though it wont register as a blip on their bottom line? Just to clarify I am one of these guys who is now paying more in taxes but that won't reduce my charitable giving one bit. To do that would be intellectually insincere. But I guess all the working poor are supposed to bow down to the "job creators" otherwise they wouldn't have three minimum wage jobs to barely make ends meet. Some people are just disgustingly partisan and historically cheap. Believe me, now the misers can blame their [desired]diminished charitable giving on Obama and make some kind of dishonest, political, illogical fallacy at the benefit of those that need help the most.

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