SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has revealed the selection of exclusive getaways, delectable wine and culinary offerings, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to be auctioned off to the highest bidders during its annual signature event, the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. At the Live Auction, held Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, guests will have the opportunity to raise their paddles for a chance to acquire phenomenal offerings, made possible through donations by trustees and friends of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, as well as through the travel services of Preferred Travel of Naples, Inc. Nearly every lot will feature a selection of fine wine, generously provided by the organization’s trustees, donors and distinguished vintners.
One hundred percent of the live auction proceeds go directly to support SWFLChildren’s Charities, Inc. beneficiaries including Golisano Children’s Hospital and pediatric education programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For a list of the auction lots that will be available for bid, visit www.swflwinefest.org.
With this year’s auction lots, bidders will have the opportunity to compete for a wide variety of experiences and opportunities as they enjoy gourmet food and wine. Amongst the 40 auction lots up for bid, await a selection of luxurious travel packages that will allow the highest bidders to explore a handful of the most popular destinations in Australia, take a two-day sport fishing charter on the bright blue Costa Rican ocean waters or go on an adventurous Kenya and Tanzania safari through the wilderness, enjoying unparalleled views of the region’s most regal animals.
Those looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences will encounter a variety of opportunities including the chance to own a piece of rock legend history, a signed bass guitar from AC/DC musician, Cliff Williams, one of his five working bases, serial number BOO8629, that was recently played in Australia as part of the band’s ongoing “Rock or Bust” tour. Adding to this rock star lot is a one-of-a-kind, custom AC/DC guitar pick pendant adorned with diamonds and gems, suspended from an original Williams’ bass guitar string that was played on tour, from international award-winning custom jewelry designer, Mark Loren. Auction-goers can also place a bid for the opportunity to experience greatness with tickets to the 2016 Ryder Cup golf tournament, the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 or a Luke Bryan concert with meet-and-greet passes to meet the award-winning country music singer.
A testament to its name, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest will offer auction lots featuring exclusive wines from the nation’s most celebrated wineries and vineyards. During the Live Auction, bidders will have the opportunity to vie for some of the world’s finest wines, including the Fabulous Fifteen, a collection of wines that hold the coveted 100-point rating of international wine critic, Robert Parker. Wine lovers can also bid on the opportunity to expand their personal wine selection, or start a new collection with 96 bottles of fine wines paired with a custom wine closet designed just for the winning bidder. A variety of travel packages to renowned winery and vineyard destinations will be available, including a trip to Sonoma County for a stay at Benovia Winery, featuring wine tastings, dinner with renowned winemakers, a chance to golf with celebrities at the Schulz Celebrity Golf Classic and take a flight in a DC-3 airplane.
Auction-goers interested in enjoying an exclusive evening of culinary distinction can bid on a James Beard House-style gourmet dining experience for 40 guests at Sea Salt Restaurant in Naples on Oct. 30, 2016, hosted by award-winning chefs. Additionally, with options for in-restaurant or in-home dining, bidders can compete for one-of-a-kind gastronomic experiences that will feature Southwest Florida’s talented chefs.
Every year, bidders give graciously to support pediatric health care in Southwest Florida. The “Child Artist” lot will allow guests to bid on a one-of-a-kind work of art created by 2016 Child Artist, Avery McCaskill, who is also a young patient of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “A Million Reasons to Give” will provide auction-goers the opportunity to help stock the new Golisano Children’s Hospital with tiny tools that enable pediatric surgeons to provide the highest level of surgical care for children, as well as important technology and equipment needed to ensure top quality care. During “Pass the Hat,” a top hat will be passed around the room, gathering unique and special items from guests in attendance. The contents will be donated to SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. beneficiaries as well.
The two-day 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest includes private Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.
The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised and donated $12.8 million over the past seven 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. supports pediatric health care programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.