On Thursday, Feb. 9, donors, trustees and sponsors of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest gathered at the Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center in Bonita Springs for apreview party in anticipation of uncorking the power of giving at the upcoming 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest event. Hosted by the organization’s three beneficiaries, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College, the evening included a reception and dinner featuring an assortment of fine wines.

Auctioneer Scott Robertson and NBC-2 anchor Kellie Burns presented highlights of the 40 auction lots featuring exclusive getaways, luxurious wine and culinary offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will be available for bid at the Live Auction. In addition, this year’s Child Artists, Leo and Lola Grabinski, made a special appearance, and Kellie Burns made a heartfelt plea in support of this year’s fund-a-cause initiative for pediatric mental and behavioral health care services at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

The 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s Chef Vintner Dinner will take place on Friday, Feb. 24, followed by The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

Pictured left to right:

Photo 1: Robert Roop and Margaret Antonier

Photo 2: Laura Grabinski, Dr. Emad Salman, Leo and Lola Grabinski, Matt Grabinski

Photo 3: Dave Copham and Randy Darrow

Photo 4: Pason Gaddis, Rob Wilson, Kelly and Jason Stephens

Photo 5: Elaine Hawkins and Brooke Denson

Photo 6:  Bev Cherry and Pat Gibbons

Photo 7: Kellie Burns, Debbie Toler, Christin Collins and Scott Robertson

Photo 8: Todd and Wendy Tooley with Sonya and Brian Sawyer

Photo 9:  Dorothy Fitzgerald, Gloria Jordan, Ester and Steve Machiz

Photo 10: Mitch Cordova, David Collins and Scott Kashman

Photo 11: Kathy Bridge-Liles and Paul Liles

Photo 12: Rob Wilson, Rio DeArmond, Debbie Toler and Kelly Stephens

Photo 13: Karen Pickrum, Olga Piaceres, Jason Stephens, Dave Copham, Linda Walker, Shawn Tubman

Photo 14:  Fred Hawkins and Ron Fitzgerald

Photo 15:  Skip Leonard, Boots Tolles and David Collins