SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. recently presented $200,000 to both Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and to Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) to award scholarships to qualifying students within their health care programs. Over the past eight years, the organization has granted more than $1.6 million to FGCU and FSW for programs and scholarships focused on pediatrics.
Last year, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. pledged $1 million to each school to award scholarships to qualify students who are studying to become health professionals with an interest in pursuing pediatrics in Southwest Florida. The $1 million gifts are payable in five annual installments of $200,000 to each school. The contributions are raised through SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s annual signature event, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest and are administered by the schools. The organization’s third beneficiary, the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, has received more than $16 million over the past eight years.
“As we educate the next generation of health care providers for children in our region, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is right by our side, generously providing scholarships for deserving students,” said FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw. “We are grateful for their continued partnership which allows so many students to prepare for the vital role of serving our kids and our community.”
Dr. Jeff Allbritten, president of FSW, said, “We are grateful to SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. for its continued dedication to health care education. Their generosity means that our students can focus on their exceptional training so when they graduate, they will make an immediate and positive impact for the medical needs of our region’s youth.”
“At SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., our goal is to help ensure that children in our region have access to the best health care possible, and it starts with educating students to become dedicated health care professionals in our community,” said Andie Vogt, trustee and member of the board of directors, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “Both FGCU and FSW have extremely high board passing rates and job placement for graduates and work closely with local clinical partners such as Lee Health to ensure they are well prepared for caring for our community.”
SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $16 million over the past eight years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. grants funds to Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University to provide scholarships and equipment to educate the community’s next generation of pediatric health care professionals. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.