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FORT MYERS, FL (Oct. 20, 2015) –SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. signed a $1 million pledge to Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) to benefit the programs and students within FSW’s School of Health Professions. The gift may be used to purchase equipment, technology, software and for advanced training, or to award scholarships to qualifying students within the School of Health Professions program at FSW.

In recognition of the pledge and past donations from SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., the simulation lab at FSW will now be called the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. Simulation Center. FSW School of Health Professions offers simulation education to help students gain skills and confidence for real-world patient care scenarios. Specifically, FSW has used previous funds donated by SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. to purchase a birthing mother and newborn simulator, a pediatric simulator, a mechanical ventilator for practice skills on pediatric patients and an x-ray machine for pediatric patients treated at the Dental Hygiene Clinic.

“The need for work-ready health care professionals is growing exponentially in the Southwest Florida community, and this contribution from SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. will further enable our college to continue equipping students for success in this industry,” said Dr. Jeff Allbritten, president of FSW. “We are grateful to SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. for its dedication to pediatric healthcare. This organization’s generosity means our students will have exceptional training so when they graduate, they will make an immediate and positive impact for the medical needs of our region’s youth.”

The $1 million gift is payable in five annual installments of $200,000 beginning in June 2016. The contribution is raised through SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s annual signature event, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest and will be administered by FSW.

“At SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., our mission is to positively impact the health and lives of children, and we believe that there is no better place to start than with future healthcare professionals,” said Dave Copham, trustee and member of the board of directors, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “Our support begins with the dedicated individuals that will be caring for Southwest Florida children in medical settings, and strengthening healthcare programs like FSW’s will ensure that these children will receive the most advanced care from a team of well-trained medical professionals.”

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 nearly $15 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. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, which also lends support to educational programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Teri Hansen, APR, Priority Marketing,, 239-267-2638 or 239-849-3300 (cell)

Holly Boldrin, APR, Priority Marketing,, 239-267-2638 or 239-887-9335 (cell)