Elaine Hawkins and Dorothy Fitzgerald have been named chairpersons of the 2014 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest event. The fundraiser will be held Feb. 21-22, 2014 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.
Hawkins is president of Fort Myers-based Private Client Insurance Services and Specialty Risk Management Services. Active in the community, she sits on the board of directors of Lee Memorial Health System Foundation and SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.
“We are honored and excited to be a part of this fundraiser that is so vital to Southwest Florida,” said Hawkins. “Our new children’s hospital will positively affect everyone’s quality of life, which ultimately, impacts our economy.”
Fitzgerald, an attorney and accomplished health care executive who has helped to build three hospitals in the northeast, is on the board of directors of Lee Memorial Health System Foundation and SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. She is a managing member of Sanibel Girl, a Sanibel Island retailer which donates profits from sales and custom design to local charities, and is active with Sanibel-Captiva Cares, which to-date has raised $5 million in support of the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
“I am passionate about giving back,” said Fitzgerald. “Charity is a principle, not a dollar amount.”
The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest is a two-day event that begins with dinners featuring select vintners and local chefs in private homes from Fort Myers to Naples Friday, Feb. 21, and concludes with a Grand Tasting and Auction the following day, Saturday, Feb. 22 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.
Title sponsor of the 2014 event is SKANSKA GATES. Additional sponsors include FineMark National Bank & Trust, LTC Global, Sam Galloway Ford Lincoln, Private Client Insurance Services, Home-Tech and Investors’ Security Trust Company. In-kind sponsors are Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, Palm Printing/Printers Ink, Angelina’s Ristorante, Jason’s Deli and Norman Love Confections.
The festival is organized by SWFL Children’s Charities Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides funding to local children’s causes, and has raised more than $8.9 million over the last five years. The primary beneficiary is the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, which is scheduled to open in 2016 at HealthPark Medical Center in South Fort Myers. The state-of-the-art family-center children’s hospital will provide new and expanded pediatric medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.
The Wine Fest also helps support the Edison State College Pediatric Nursing Program and Florida Gulf Coast University’s music therapy program at the Bower School of Music.