SWFL Children’s Charities is dedicated to saving children’s lives by supporting the region’s growing pediatric health care system. Under the leadership of its Board of Directors and with the passionate and generous support of its Trustees, SWFL Children’s Charities has raised $18.7 million to local pediatric health care initiatives over the past nine years making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and 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 100 percent of the auction proceeds to three primary 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, and is considering grants to other children’s causes in Southwest Florida from 2018 proceeds. By way of the festival, SWFL Children’s Charities strives to make sure the Southwest Florida community has the best resources possible for children right here at home. Any child might need these services at any point, and we’re ensuring they will be available to them if and when that time comes.
Some children come into the world perfectly healthy, growing stronger each year, but that can change in the blink of an eye. Just ask the parent of a child with cancer how quickly things can change. Other young ones arrive too early, and thanks to lifesaving advancements in neonatal medicine and dedicated professionals, these babies get the special care they need at the beginning of life so they can go on to live full and healthy lives. At any age, a normally healthy child can experience sudden trauma due to an accident, an allergic reaction, or a virus. Just ask any child who has received lifesaving care for an acute condition what their short stay in the PICU meant to them. It means LIFE – and that’s what it’s all about.