SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has unveiled the 40 phenomenal offerings that will be up for bid during the 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s Live Auction, taking place Saturday, Feb. 25 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. Bidders can uncork the power of giving by raising their paddles for a chance to acquire a selection of exclusive getaways, delectable wine and culinary offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s beneficiaries, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College.
The offerings available during the 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest are made possible through the generous donations from friends of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., including trustees, donors and distinguished vintners, as well as through the travel services of Preferred Travel of Naples, Inc. For a complete list of auction items, visit www.swflwinefest.org.
The highest bidders of the many international travel packages can unearth the wonders of the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II for a seven-night, eight-day expedition cruise for four and two nights at Hotel Hilton Colón in Guayaquil; take a nine-day, eight-night trip for two to New Zealand, featuring stays at luxury boutique hotels across South Island, and an overnight cruise aboard a turn-of-the century steamer; encounter Iceland on a 10-day water tour for four September 12-22, 2017 aboard the 199-passenger OCEAN DIAMOND expedition ship, featuring land and sea expeditions; a one-week stay for six people at The Jewel of Zermatt, a private, ski-in ski-out luxury chalet in Zermatt, Switzerland; or a discovery tour through Italy’s wine country of Tuscany, Liguria and Piemonte with an intimate touring group led by culinary visionary Chef Loretta Paganini during a nine-day, eight-night trip for four on The Loretta Paganini School of Cooking’s 2017 Harvest Tour.
Domestic travel experiences will offer bidders the chance to enjoy a seven-night stay for 10 couples August 5-12, 2017 at Happy Ours Happy Yours, an exquisite oceanfront home in Outer Banks, North Carolina; tee off for a once-in-a-lifetime experience April 7-10, 2017 at the 2017 Masters in Augusta, Georgia, hosted by PGA golfer Bobby Clampett, featuring access to a “Welcome to the Masters” barbecue celebration, a VIP tour of Augusta National Golf Club and the third and final rounds of the Masters; experience the food, the fun and the culture of Havana, Cuba with a five-night trip for eight, led by Chef Gloria Jordan of La Trattoria Café Napoli, exploring the country’s most authentic dining destinations, cigar factories and hottest nightspots; indulge in a three-night stay for four at Ted Turner’s private ranch house on the 160,000-acre Ladder Ranch in south central New Mexico, exploring the region’s expansive landscapes with customized tour itineraries and private guides from Ted Turner Expeditions; or set sail on an intimate six-night cruise for six aboard the 127-foot yacht M/Y Bella Una, courtesy of Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane, owners of Benovia Winery, with stops in Newport, Rhode Island, Mystic, Connecticut, and New York City.
Encounter the greatest wine offerings during a variety of getaways to Wine Country. See Sonoma through the eyes of winemakers and producers during a four-night stay for six in Sonoma, featuring two days of private tastings, tours and lunches with the region’s leading producers, a Private Vintner Dinner Party at EDGE, and a 72-bottle collection of exquisite wine; or an exclusive experience with this year’s honored signature vintner, V Madrone Cellars, during a three-night getaway for six people at the Relais & Chateaux Auberge du Soleil Resort in Napa Valley, featuring an exclusive library and barrel tasting at V Madrone, private tours of Continuum Estate and Chappellet Vineyards, and a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley.
A variety of unforgettable experiences await the highest bidders. Pack your golf bag and get ready for an experience of a lifetime to attend the first Golf Give Gala, supporting the charitable foundations of Michael Phelps and Australian professional golfer and PGA Tour member, Jason Day, during a three-night trip for two in Illinois May 19-22, 2017, also featuring a concert performance and celebrity golfing experience, meet and greet with Michael Phelps, fine dining and a stay at the historic Hotel Baker; or hit the road with a two-year lease of the first Jaguar luxury performance SUV, the F-PACE 35T Premium.
Delectable wine culinary offerings are up for bid during the Live Auction, including a highly coveted 14-bottle selection of 100-point wines. Featured wines include the Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010, the Chateau Ausone Bordeaux Red Blend Saint-Emilion Grand Cru France 2003, and the Sine Qua Non Grenache Stockholm Syndrome Eleven Confession Vineyard 2010.
This year, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is dedicating its Fund-A-Cause dollars to the building healthy young minds. One in ten children struggle with a mental health issue before the age of 10. Local children desperately need help to address risk factors, such as loss, depression, bullying, eating disorders, substance abuse, autism, and lack of access to services. The Fund-A-Cause for mental and behavioral health will help build the foundation for a comprehensive mental health program to serve Southwest Florida children.
The two-day 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest event includes private Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 24 and The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. To inquire about tickets to the event, please visit the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest website at www.swflwinefest.org.
SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $16 million over the past eight years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, 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. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.