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FORT MYERS, FL (Aug. 28, 2015) – SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. introduces its 2015-2016 board of directors, elected during the organization’s annual trustee meeting to serve a one-year term through July 2016. The president of the board of directors is Elaine Hawkins, and vice-president is Dorothy Fitzgerald. Other officers are: Dave Copham, treasurer; Debbie Toler, vice president of public relations and marketing; and Bev Cherry, secretary.


Board members are responsible for supporting the operations and mission of the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and administering funds that support local programs benefiting the care and well-being of children in Southwest Florida. In addition to managing the operations of SWFL Children’s Charities Inc., a 501c3 organization, the board’s officers oversee the planning and execution of the charitable organization’s signature fundraising event, the 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, to be held Feb. 26 and 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach and 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. To date, SWFL Children’s Charities has raised nearly $15 million over the past seven years to benefit 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, the SWFL Children’s Charities supports programs at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit