Situated along natural woodland preserves with 20 acres of waterways in a sheltered cove, St. Charles Harbour is a luxury, deep-water marina and gated yachting community located in the Iona area of South Fort Myers. The community’s private club, St. Charles Yacht Club, is generally reserved for member-only events, but will open up its doors to one of Southwest Florida’s most established charitable organizations, the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., for the Feb. 11 SWFL Wine & Food Fest Pre-Auction Dinner and celebration.
Hosted by trustees Ron and Dorothy Fitzgerald, the evening will include a reception and dinner featuring fine wines and delicious five-course cuisine by Chef David Ebling and Guest Chef Andy Hyde.
During the event, auction attendees will learn more about the more than 40 exclusive getaways, luxurious wine and culinary offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will be available for bid at the Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27. 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 only five guitars that Cliff Williams has played in his 50-year career, played most recently 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. 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. Auction-goers interested in enjoying an exclusive evening of culinary distinction can bid on a James Beard House-style gourmet six-course dining experience for 40 guests at Sea Salt Restaurant in Naples on Oct. 30, 2016, hosted by four of Southwest Florida’s award-winning chefs including Fabrizio Aielli, chef/owner of Sea Salt in Naples and St. Petersburg; Harold Balink, chef/owner of Cru in Fort Myers; Todd Johnson, chef/owner of Rumrunners in Cape Coral; and Chef Norman Love of Norman Love Confections.
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. For the adventurous travelers, the first luxury rail experience of its kind in Ireland, the luxurious Belmond Grand Hibernian train will take two guests on a journey on this eight-night exploration. Aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian, travelers will experience beautiful en-suite cabins with, mixing modern luxury and traditional design. Complete with luxury accommodations, whiskey tastings and castle tours the winning bidders are sure to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
St. Charles General Manager Jill Kempa, also a mother of three, says it’s a great privilege to welcome the organization into the club.
“As a mother, it personally brings me great comfort to know that SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is committed to supporting local children’s health care programs helping to bring the most state-of-the-art children’s hospital to our community. We are fortunate to have such a gracious organization in our community that gives back so generously.”
Executive Chef David Ebling is new to the St. Charles Harbour Yacht Club, but no stranger to serving the community. A local, “home-grown” chef, he started his culinary career on Fort Myers Beach, and has worked at some of the region’s most prestigious restaurants, hotels and country clubs. He brings more than 40 years of culinary expertise to St. Charles Harbour, and believes in serving not only its residents, but community groups such as SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.
“On behalf of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., we are truly grateful to Chef Ebling, Chef Hyde and the team at St. Charles Harbour Yacht Club,” said Dorothy Fitzgerald, vice-president of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “This year’s event them is gracious giving, and this community has truly stepped up to the plate in a big way to support our organizations and the beneficiaries.”
For more information on SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and its annual signature event, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, visit www.swflwinefest.org.