Applications now open through April 5 to all organizations bettering the health and wellness of children in Southwest Florida

2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest logo

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., a local nonprofit dedicated to saving children’s lives by supporting organizations committed to pediatric health care services and education, is accepting proposals from additional nonprofit organizations seeking funding. For those interested in becoming a beneficiary of the 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, applications are available at www.swflwinefest.org/grants-program-for-new-beneficiaries. To be considered, applicants must download, complete and submit an online application by April 5.

To qualify for funding, initiatives must strive to improve the health and well-being of children in Southwest Florida. More specifically, organizations will be assessed on how they seek to improve new or existing programs that meet the grant criteria, through a competitive grant approval process. Grants will be funded by 10 percent of proceeds raised during the 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, and divided among recipients, as approved. Announcements of successful recipients will be made in the fall of 2018 and funds will be presented following the 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest.

“We are very excited to extend our grants program to additional beneficiaries serving the interests of children’s health and wellness across Southwest Florida,” said Sandy Stilwell-Youngquist, secretary and vice president of grants, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “It is integral to the mission of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. to enhance the lives of the young people within our community. By expanding the network of organizations we fund, we are extending the amount of support we can offer to the community, as well as solidifying our commitment to do all we can to help improve the health, well-being and vitality of our children.”

To learn more about the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. grants program, determine whether an organization meets funding criteria, and for funding application details, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. recently hosted its 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest on March 2-3, raising $2.9 million in total to support pediatric health care and education. All proceeds of the auction will support Golisano Children’s Hospital, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College. Additionally, 10 percent of auction proceeds will benefit PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, SalusCare, Inc. and The Heights Foundation.

SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised more than $20 million over the past ten years, making it one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The trustees and sponsors underwrite the event and the nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., donates contributions made during the event to local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the most significant beneficiary of the event, which provides health services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. grants funds to Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College to provide scholarships and equipment to educate the community’s next generation of pediatric health care professionals. Ten percent of the 2018 auction proceeds also benefits four new beneficiaries including PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, SalusCare, Inc. and The Heights Foundation. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.