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Business Observer Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 8 years ago

Naples wine festival raises $8.5 million

The Naples Winter Wine Festival raised $8.5 million for children's charities.

NAPLES — The Naples Winter Wine Festival raised $8.5 million for children's charities this weekend, including $750,000 for a Ferrari at auction.

The three-day festival has become one of the world's most successful wine charities, raising $116 million since it began in 2001. This year's total was 30% lower than the $12.2 million organizers raised last year.

The highlight of the festival is the auction, where fantasy lots are sold to the highest bidders. Besides the Ferrari, an undisclosed bidder paid $340,000 for a Maserati Quattroporte sports car. Other lots included a red-carpet walk at the Cannes Film Festival, a 22-day around-the-world trip with stops in Fiji and Bali and a four-night Parisian holiday for eight ladies with private visits to fashion houses.

The festival's founding organization is the Naples Children & Education Foundation. Tickets cost $8,500 per couple. The foundation has helped improve the lives of 150,000 children in Collier County.

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