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Naples charity wine fest invests a record $33.2M in nonprofits

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 9:15 a.m. March 19, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Naples Children & Education Foundation co-chairs Ralph and Shelly Stayer at the grant awards ceremony.
Naples Children & Education Foundation co-chairs Ralph and Shelly Stayer at the grant awards ceremony.
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The Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founding organization of Naples Winter Wine Festival, has invested a record $33.2 million in more than 50 nonprofits that support underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. 

The organization says the investment includes funding traditional grants of over $6.6 million; $19.4 million for NCEF multiyear strategic initiatives that fill fundamental gaps in local children’s services; and $7.2 million in funding for future projects and strategic initiatives.

“The 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival broke all records allowing us to provide the highest amount of funding ever for underprivileged and at-risk children in our community,” says Jacki Guinn, 2023-24 NCEF Grant Committee Chair, in a statement.

A total of 32 organizations received traditional grants this year, the organization says. Another 19 agencies taking part in NCEF’s multipartner, multiyear strategic initiatives also received grants. Those initiatives receiving funding include early learning, health care, hunger, mental health, oral health, out-of-school time and vision.

NCEF says it “emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, with its grant system. 

“Our strategic partners collaborate throughout the year to optimize funding, avoid duplication and develop innovative programs aimed at delivering high-quality services to support local children,” NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara says in the release. “The amount allocated for these multi-year initiatives is quite significant, reflecting our overwhelming belief in their impact and efficacy.”

The Naples Children & Education Foundation is dedicated to improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted close to 90 of the most effective nonprofits in the local community, providing more than 300,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. 

The Naples Winter Wine Festival is a weekend festival where guests bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences during a live auction. Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised almost $302 million.



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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