Naples Children & Education Foundation Identifies Healthcare Initiatives

Naples Children & Education Foundation Identifies Healthcare Initiatives “Healthy Mind, Body & Soul” for2023 Naples Winter Wine Festival Fund a Need

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) today announced that its annual Fund a Need at the 2023 Naples Winter Wine Festival will support its healthcare initiatives for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. Every dollar raised for this special call to action auction lot named “Healthy Mind, Body & Soul” will go to support access to healthcare, mental health, oral health and vision needs.

Founded by NCEF, the Naples Winter Wine Festival enters its 23rdyear and ranks as the most successful international charity wine auction in the world, raising nearly $244 million for local children’s causes. At the 2023Festival, guests will have a chance to show their support through a live auction on Saturday, February 4th, while supporters across the country who are unable to attend the Festival will be able to participate in an online auction starting Friday, January 27th.

“Access to high-quality and comprehensive health services strongly correlates with overall physical and mental well-being in any community,” said Harry Rose, NCEF Trustee and 2022 Grant Committee Chair.“ Donated funds will allow NCEF to provide children and families with the necessary access to primary care, allowing early detection and treatment of healthcare related issues that when left untreated can lead to more serious and irreversible health conditions.”

This year, NCEF is placing a special emphasis on mental health. The distresses the pandemic had on children becomes more evident every day in school, sports and after-school programs. The recent devastation of Hurricane Ian only added more to the level of stress and trauma with 27,000 families having lost or been displaced from their homes throughout our community.

Research shows that children’s experiences in their school-age years can have a dramatic impact on their outcomes as adults. Here are statistics supporting the healthcare initiatives:

  • Access to Health Care: Nearly 10 percent of Collier County children lack health insurance compared to the statewide average of 7.2 percent.
  • Mental Health: One in five children in Collier County under the age of 18 has a diagnosable mental health disorder. Mental health and substance abuse have been identified as the two most pressing issues by the chiefs of local law enforcement and emergency response agencies.
  • Oral Health: 40 percent of Collier County third graders have untreated cavities compared to 25 percent across the state of Florida.
  • Vision Health: Due to a lack of funding and access to quality care, 85 percent of the Title I* students in Collier County have vision problems that are either undetected or untreated. (Title I is a federal program that provides funds to school districts and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children who are disadvantaged to support a variety of services) 

“The goal with this year’s Fund a Need is to ensure access to primary care, allowing early detection and treatment of disease, behavioral health issues and other health concerns in children in our community,” said NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara. “This increased access will provide such critical services as developmental screenings, mental health assessments, comprehensive dental exams, complete health screenings, eyeglasses and oral health education.”

Here are some examples of how contributions to “Health Mind, Body & Soul” can last a lifetime:

• $100,000 provides two school liaisons to help children with mental health needs in a school setting
• $50,000 provides mental health assessments for 400 children
• $25,000 provides 100 children with primary care visits
• $10,000 provides 600 children with the opportunity to be treated by a pediatric dentist in one month
• $5,000 provides 200 children with vision screenings
• $1,000 provides oral health education classes for 175 families

Every dollar raised will go to support NCEF’s healthcare initiatives to focus on the future of local children. For more information or to make a donation, please visit

About Naples Winter Wine Festival
One of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, the Naples Winter Wine Festival offers a weekend of unforgettable memories. Guests enjoy world-class food and wine during intimate private dinners and are invited to bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences in an electrifying live auction. Since its inception in 2001, the Festival has raised nearly $244 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Collier County.

About Naples Children & Education Foundation

The founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) is improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted more than 50 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing over 300,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time.

For additional information on the Naples Children & Education Foundation or the Naples Winter Wine Festival, contact Lisa Juliano at or 239-514-2239.

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