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SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has announced nine new beneficiaries of its 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, thereby extending its reach throughout the five-county region. In support of a variety of children’s programs including hunger, health, education and counseling, the new beneficiaries include: Blessings in a Backpack, Community Cooperative, Inc., Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Florida Lions Eye Clinic, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Help a Diabetic Child Foundation, Hope Kids Care, Lighthouse of SWFL and Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.

These beneficiaries will receive a portion of the 2019 event’s proceeds, yet the majority of funds raised will be directed to local children’s mental and behavioral health initiatives. The theme of the event is “Making Waves: Building Healthy Minds,” and organizers will partner with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to allocate the proceeds to fill an underserved and vitally important need for children and families in Southwest Florida.   

With a 10-year history of raising $25 million in lifesaving funds in support of organizations committed to children’s health and education, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. will also continue its support of Golisano Children’s Hospital and health care educational programs at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College.

“As the second largest donor to Golisano Children’s Hospital, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is truly invested in the future and quality of children’s health care, education and services throughout Southwest Florida,” said Sandy Stilwell-Youngquist, president of the board of directors for SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “In addition to our new focus on mental and behavioral health, we’re thrilled to further extend the impact of this year’s Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest through our advocacy of nine new beneficiaries, and we look forward to making waves with another year of generous giving in support of our local children.”

The grand tasting and live auction for the 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest will take place at noon on Feb. 24, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs. To learn more about SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., its beneficiaries and the 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, visit