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SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. names patient, sibling as Child Artists for 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest

A cancer diagnosis impacts the entire family, and the beauty of a strong sibling bond is reflected in the paintings of this year’s child artists, Matthew Singleton, a five-year-old leukemia patient, and his six-year-old brother, Steven.

Matthew, who started remission in August 2015, is still undergoing treatment at Golisano Children’s Hospital, yet he is like any other preschooler. With his brother providing that extra bit of courage, he is full of life, laughter and smiles. Together, they are up for any adventure, including an upcoming appearance at the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest on Saturday, March 3 at Quail West Golf and Country Club in Naples. During the Live Auction, guests will have the opportunity to raise their paddles to donate in support of the child artists. Matthew’s artwork titled, “Sparkly Night,” and Steven’s artwork titled, “Golden King,” were created in collaboration with Child Art Mentor Jolie Black, whose daughter, Sophia, was the 2015 child artist.

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s child artist program celebrates the art of survival. Each year, a young patient of Golisano Children’s Hospital is selected to create a one-of-a-kind work of art to be auctioned off during the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. The child artist program has raised more than $1 million over the years, 100 percent of which benefits pediatric care at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The art is traditionally donated back to the hospital, and all of the child artwork can be viewed on display there.

For the families of pediatric cancer patients, the initial cancer diagnosis brings about a whirlwind of change. The ability to access health care within Southwest Florida offers patients, parents and siblings a layer of stability, enabling them to remain in their homes, keeping families whole and support systems nearby.

 “A child’s cancer diagnosis is always a devastating shock to parents, and if a child has to be treated far from home, the family has to face separation or a move, which is difficult for the entire family,” said Brooke Denson, co-chair and trustee, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is dedicated to helping Golisano Children’s Hospital continue to fulfill this great need within the region, helping families take on cancer together through the provision of life-saving care close to home.”

“If Matthew had to go to Tampa or Miami for treatment, we would have to move,” said Matthew’s mom, Lisa Singleton. “Golisano Children’s Hospital has kept our family intact. Having this hospital nearby keeps life as normal as possible for Matthew and his brother.”

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., has been committed to keeping children’s health care close to home in Southwest Florida for 10 years, and was the second largest donor to help build the new Golisano Children’s Hospital, which opened last spring. It is the only children’s hospital to serve the five-county region.

To learn more about the 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $18.7 million over the past nine years, making it one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The trustees and sponsors underwrite the event and the nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., donates 100 percent of the auction proceeds to local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the most significant beneficiary of the event, which provides health services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. grants funds to Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College to provide scholarships and equipment to educate the community’s next generation of pediatric health care professionals, and also PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, SalusCare, Inc. and The Heights Foundation in further support of health care and services for children. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

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