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SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. presents $200,000 to Florida SouthWestern State College for programs, scholarships

SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. recently presented $200,000 to Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) to award scholarships to qualifying students within its health care programs. Helping educate Southwest Florida’s next generation of health care providers, the organization has granted $1 million to FSW over the past nine years to support programs and scholarships focused on pediatrics.

In 2015, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. pledged $1 million to FSW, payable in five annual installments of $200,000, to award scholarships to qualifying health professional students with an interest in pursuing pediatrics right here in Southwest Florida. Contributions are raised through the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s annual signature fundraising event, and are administered by the school.

“We are grateful for SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s continued support for our students and the future of health care here in Southwest Florida,” said FSW President Dr. Jeff Allbritten. “The generosity of this organization has been influential in our efforts to continually educate rising generations of health care providers, and we are thankful for their lasting commitment so that we can continue preparing local students to better serve our community and children.”

In addition to FSW, the organization also supports two other primary beneficiaries, including the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University, and has raised $18.7 million over the past nine years in support of these three local beneficiaries.

“Key to our organization’s mission of providing children access to the best health care possible, FSW’s health care programs are designed to create knowledgeable, trained professionals who are well-prepared to serve our community,” said Elaine Hawkins, trustee and president of the board of directors, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “Our hope is that this contribution allows these well-deserving students to focus on becoming the best in their fields and go on to make a difference in the lives of our youngest patients here in Southwest Florida.”

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 the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and 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 three primary 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 is considering grants to other children’s causes in Southwest Florida from 2018 proceeds. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

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