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SWFL Children’s Charities Trustees announce 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest event, co-chairs

New date and location for the signature fundraising event’s 10th anniversary

The trustees of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. have announced that the 2018 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest will take place on March 2 and 3. The two-day signature event will feature uniquely themed Chef Vintner Dinners on March 2, held at private venues throughout Southwest Florida. The Grand Tasting and Live Auction will be held Saturday, March 3 at Quail West Golf and Country Club, located at 5950 Burnham Rd. in Naples. The trustees have named Elaine Hawkins and Brooke Denson as co-chairs for the 10th anniversary of the premier fundraising event, which is dedicated to supporting pediatric health care and scholarships for local students majoring in health sciences.

Each day will showcase the culinary talents of celebrated chefs and exceptional wines poured by renowned vintners. One hundred percent of monies raised at the auction will benefit SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s primary beneficiaries; Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College.

Hawkins founded Specialty Risk Management Services in 1999 which provides a unique property insurance program for commercial entities and is the president and principal of Private Client Insurance Services since 2003, an independent insurance agency specializing in personal and commercial insurance for high net worth individuals and condominium associations. Hawkins received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami in Psychology, is a Certified Risk Manager, and holds insurance and real estate licenses. She serves as an officer of Lee Health Foundation, and is president of the board of directors and a trustee since 2010 of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.

Denson is a real estate professional for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Upon moving to Southwest Florida nine years ago from Arizona, Denson and her husband, Pat, established Estero Bay Chevrolet. The company has grown to become the No. 1 Chevrolet dealership in the region. Denson has been actively involved as a trustee of SWFL Children Charities, Inc. since 2016, and is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, Florida Association of REALTORS® and Bonita Springs-Estero Association of REALTORS®.

To learn more about SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and to inquire about tickets to 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 $18.4 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. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

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