Naples Winter Wine Festival goes virtual to meet great need of child organizations

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
FILE Photo of past Naples Winter Wine Festival. Credit: WINK News.

Community members have a chance to give back to their communities through a yearly staple of Southwest Florida.

Naples Winter Wine Festival raises millions of dollars to fund nonprofits each year, and the annual auction begins Friday. Things will look a bit different at the event during the pandemic, but it will continue to be just as meaningful.

The wine fest is going virtual in 2021 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and because the need to help 45 different local children’s organizations doesn’t stop during a pandemic.

“Just in the first quarter, our services went up by 55%,” said Maria Jimenez, the CEO of Naples Children & Education Foundation. “We know that we are just at the beginning of recovering from this pandemic.”

Jimenz says this year they still have some amazing auction lots, cool travel destinations, some food experiences and even a shopping spree. All of them come with private transportation.

“Want to be very conscientious of the health and safety,” Jimenez said.

Organizations including the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County say fundraising is crucial.

“It’s now,” said Megan McCarthy with the Boys & girls Club. “This is the crunch time in terms of making a difference in people’s lives.”

Making a difference is needed now more than ever before.

“It’s important every day, but it’s so much more important now, as we’re in this pandemic, as we are really seeing the side effects of the pandemic,” McCarthy said. “It really takes even more to be there for the kids.”

That’s why the slogan this year, “Ain’t no mountain high enough,” fits so well.

“There is no mountain high enough for us,” Jimenez said. “We will always be here for the community and to take care of the children.”

WINK News is a proud partner of NCEF during the annual Naples Winter Wine Festival. You can watch the 1-hour special on WINK-TV at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 and on the WINK News app.

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