Pitbladdo Holdings LLC is the 2016 title sponsor for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, the signature event of SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.
Principals Richard and Vicki Pitbladdo are SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. trustees and have actively supported the Wine & Food Fest for many years. The two-day fundraiser includes Friday evening chef/vintner dinners in private homes throughout Southwest Florida, followed by the Grand Tasting & Auction Saturday afternoon. The Pitbladdos hosted a chef/vintner dinner in their south Fort Myers home this year.
“Richard and I have been actively involved with SWFL Children’s Charities for the six years we have lived in Fort Myers, and we are proud to continue our community support. It gives added meaning to our work and energizes us to achieve even higher goals for our businesses,” said Vicki Pitbladdo. “It’s awesome seeing how much can be accomplished with a dedicated group of committed and generous people. Seeing the Golisano Children’s Hospital being built is especially rewarding, but we know there is much more to be accomplished.”
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, which also lends support to Florida SouthWestern State College’s pediatric nursing program and Florida Gulf Coast University’s music therapy program.
SWFL Children’s Charities President Elaine Hawkins said, “The Pitbladdos’ commitment epitomizes the bigheartedness and dedication of so many people who support the Wine & Food Fest. Their corporate contributions are significant, and their ideas, energy and time help shape the event and are critical to our ongoing success.”
Dorothy Fitzgerald, a member of the SWFL Children’s Charities board of trustees, said, “The generous support of our trustees and sponsors allows every dollar raised during the auction to fund programs that benefit our children and strengthen our community.”
The 2015 auction raised $3.35 million. Fitzgerald and Hawkins co-chaired both the 2014 and 2015 events.
“This latest sponsorship represents a continuation of our personal and business support of this great community effort,” said Richard Pitbladdo. “Every year the bar is set higher, and somehow everyone pulls together to set a new fundraising record. It’s inspiring to Vicki and me, and inspiring to our employees as well.”
The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has raised nearly $15 million in 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. Wine Spectator ranked the event No. 6 on its list of Top 10 U.S. Charity Wine Auctions of 2014.
Pitbladdo Holdings LLC is a closely held private equity company. Portfolio companies include PB&J Group, 2015 Wine & Food Fest Title Sponsor LTC Global, and Specto Automated Window Cleaning. In addition, Pitbladdo Holdings holds a value-based portfolio of public equities that serves to hedge its private holdings.
The 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest is scheduled for Feb. 26 and 27. To learn more, log onto swflwinefest.org.