Naples Children & Education Foundation Receives $250,000 Grant to Support Children’s Healthcare

Naples Children & Education Foundation Receives $250,000 Grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to Support Children’s Healthcare

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), today announced that it has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to support essential healthcare services for at-risk and underprivileged children in Collier County.

“With the help of the Schulze Family Foundation, NCEF has been afforded the opportunity to expand our oral, vision and integrated healthcare initiatives to serve an additional 22,000 children since 2017,” said NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara. “This grant is the latest example of the benefits of collaboration among philanthropic organizations to achieve maximum impact for local children.”

Approximately 5,100 children will be served through the expansion of NCEF’s three Healthcare Initiatives during the 2023-24 school year via the operating support of this grant and under the guidance and leadership of a Director of Healthcare and a Community Engagement Manager. This represents an increase of 1,000 children served when compared with the prior school year.

“The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation is pleased to partner with the Naples Children & Education Foundation because of their innovative and collaborative approach, rigorous focus on measurable outcomes, and ability to leverage resources to prepare children of working-poor families for a successful future,” said Mary Beth Geier, Florida Director of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. “By investing wisely and holding its grantees to the highest of standards, NCEF makes a true impact on the lives of children in Collier County.”

In addition to its multi-year support of NCEF’s healthcare-related initiatives, the Schulze Family Foundation previously partnered with NCEF, the Collier Community Foundation, and United Way of Collier and the Keys to assist local residents and nonprofit organizations struggling as the Covid pandemic unfolded in 2020.

NCEF also joined forces with the Schulze Family Foundation and Collier Community Foundation in 2021 to launch Collier CARES (Community Application for Resources and Emergency Services), an innovative mobile and web app that connects families in need with critical resources and services. The Collier CARES app completed its second year and now reaches nearly 6,000 active users and contains 384 service listings with 74,000 searches for essential resources.

Since its founding in 2000, NCEF has funded essential services for more than 300,000 children in four categories — Child Advocacy, Early Learning, Medical/Healthcare and Out-of-School Time. Funding is derived from NCEF’s annual signature event, the Naples Winter Wine Festival, along with philanthropic foundations and generous individuals. The Naples Winter Wine Festival will return for its 24th year at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón on January 26-28, 2024, featuring exclusive fine wines, impeccable cuisine and unique, one-of-a-kind auction lots benefiting underprivileged and at-risk children in the local community.

About the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation was created in 2004 by Best Buy founder, Dick Schulze, to give back to communities where he and his family live and work. The Foundation looks for meaningful investments that produce specific and measurable outcomes with a focus on human and social services, education, and health and medicine within the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area in Minnesota and the five counties of Southwest Florida which include Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties. In all of its activities, the Foundation embraces its founder’s vision to strengthen and support initiatives that lead to transformational change within our communities. For more information about the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, please visit

About Naples Children & Education Foundation

The Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted 60 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing more than 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.

About Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Naples Winter Wine Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, offers a weekend of unforgettable memories. Guests enjoy world-class food and wine during intimate dinners in elegant, private homes and settings throughout Naples and are invited to bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences during an electrifying live auction. Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised approximately $269 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.


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



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.