Every year, the charity world in Naples awaits the momentous time when Naples Children & Education Foundation trustees announce how they'll divvy up the proceeds of the Naples Winter Wine Festival.
This is a big deal because of the sums involved. Attending the festival in January costs $10,000 per couple, and participants spend much more on extravagant auction lots that include dream vacations and exotic cars.
This year, the foundation's trustees handed out more than $11 million in proceeds from the festival to 31 charitable organizations that benefit children in Collier County.
Also, the foundation handed $4.4 million of that sum to charitable organizations that identify gaps in services for children. This year, the foundation awarded $2.9 million for children's mental health, $1 million for early learning, $260,000 for oral health and $200,000 for out-of-school initiatives.
Since 2001, the foundation has given more than $146 million to organizations that improve the lives of children in Collier County.
The big winners this year included the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County and Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization in rural Immokalee that provides academic programs for more than 1,100 children.
This story was updated to reflect the proper name of the foundation, and to amplify the amount of proceeds donated to charities.