Great Times and Great Work

Wine Festival Auctioneer

Auctioneer at work | Photo by Louis Venne

In 2000, a small group of friends came together to meld their love of wine with their love of community, setting their sights on creating a wine festival that would rival the world’s greatest ones. And so the Naples Winter Wine Festival was born.

These visionary people also created the Naples Children & Education Foundation, so the substantial funding they intended to generate would be allocated to the underprivileged and at-risk children of Collier County in a reasoned and sustainable way.

Since that time, the Festival has raised more than $110 million, and NCEF has come to the aid of more than 150,000 Collier kids. Now that’s a dream come true.

Soon to approach its 15th year, NCEF’s 59 trustees, nine Board members and nine Grant Committee members represent an ever-stronger leadership that is looking forward to an ever-stronger impact on its community.



Co-chairs Adria Starky, Linda Richards Malone and Anne
Welsh McNulty with the kids

The mission of the Naples Children & Education Foundation is targeted: to support effective, disciplined programs that significantly improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County, Florida.

After having completed substantial original and secondary research, the trustees know what an important – and imposing – job they have to do. For example:

• 47% of third graders cannot read with minimal proficiency

• 63% of children enrolled in Pre-K – 12th Grade are defined as economically


• 43% of children born into poverty have visual impairments.

Assuring that all underprivileged and at-risk kids have

the opportunity to learn and to thrive is a laser-like

focus for this dynamic group.


Through its tough and disciplined grant-making process, and based on its research on children’s needs, NCEF has supported both 37 select non-profit organizations and its own seven comprehensive long-term initiatives that convene coalitions of partners to work together in new, smart ways. These strategic initiatives are multi-partner, multi-year endeavors that are fundamentally changing service delivery for the county’s most vulnerable children, addressing needs from head to toe.

Children’s Oral Health Initiative

Anchored by the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center at Edison State College in East
Naples, which opened in December 2008.

Children’s Hunger Initiative

Provides nutritious food to children and their families by refrigerated truck.

Children’s Vision Initiative

Provides children in Collier County’s Title I schools and high-need early childhood
centers with vision screenings by eye professionals, and when medically appropriate, with
full eye exams and two pairs of eyeglasses through the NCEF Mobile Vision Clinic.

Children’s Early Learning Initiative

Enhances teacher quality, access and affordability of education-focused care for children
birth – five years at NCEF Early Childhood Learning Center.

Children’s Out of School Initiative

Provides innovative, world-class education and enrichment programs to close gaps in
education during after-school, holiday and summertime hours.

Children’s Healthcare Initiative

Provided renovation of a primary care clinic at Immokalee’s Isabel Collier Read Medical
Campus, now one of FSU College of Medicine’s clinical training sites.

Children’s Mental Health Initiative

Identifies and prevents children’s mental health issues, and provides treatment referrals
to David Lawrence Center and pediatricians’ offices.


The focus had paid off. Since its launch, NCEF has raised $135 million – $110 of that
from the Wine Festival Auction alone. Importantly, all proceeds from “under the tent”
at the auction go directly to charitable funding.
The number of children helped is staggering:
• 2.4 million meals have been provided to more than 107,000 children since 2011
• 150,000 Collier children have been helped
• 130,000 children are served each year in nine child-friendly mobile units
• 54,000 patient visits have occurred at the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center since 2008
• 20,000 receive vision screening each year, with two pairs of glasses for all in need
• 3,400 Immokalee children are served each year
• 10,000 children birth – five years are receiving needed services each year.


Won’t you join this effort? You can help by attending
the 2014 Winter Wine Festival, January 24-26 at
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples; by becoming
a sponsor or donor to the event; by donating directly
to the Naples Children & Education Foundation;
by becoming a volunteer; or by sponsoring or joining
Friends of the Foundation, the committee of next
generation philanthropists.
Please visit to find out more.

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