The nation’s third largest charity wine auction, as named by Wine Spectator Magazine, awarded a record-breaking $2.7 million for 15 children’s charities in Northwest Florida. Since its founding in 2015, the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation has donated $18 million to Northwest Florida charities, impacting the lives of more than 100,000 local children.
The 2018 check presentation, which took place in late August at the WaterColor LakeHouse, also included an additional $48,000 raised for victims of the wildfires that ravaged the Napa and Sonoma areas of California in 2017.
2018’s recipients include:
- AMIkids Emerald Coast: $145,000 for behavioral modification programs, academic supplies, employee development and student transportation.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast: $200,000 for programming opportunities for 200 students from low-income households.
- Children in Crisis: $200,000 for on-site housing, food, clothing and other necessary items for abused, neglected and abandoned children.
- Children’s Volunteer Health Network: $250,000 for the dental needs of uninsured and underinsured children. Funds will help staff the CVHN Dental Clinic and cover supplies and equipment maintenance.
- Emerald Coast Autism Center: $200,000, for scholarship funding for 25 families unable to afford services at the new Northwest Florida State College facility.
- Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center: $280,000, for mental health therapy, medical programs and case advocacy.
- Food For Thought Outreach: $150,000, for the group’s backpack program that provides nutritious meals for children in food-insecure homes.
- Habitat for Humanity of Walton County: $192,000, for full funding of two new homes for families in North Walton County and the purchase of two lots in Santa Rosa Beach.
- Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties: $100,000, to fund “The Brain Health Initiative,” a program designed to identify, assess and treat students who experience mental health or substance abuse concerns.
- Opportunity Place: $100,000, for immediate housing for homeless children and their families.
- Pathways for Change: $190,000, for addiction treatment programs at its family center and services for children of female veterans who reside at the Clinton Cox Residence.
- Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast: $200,000, for a 10-bed, Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
- Shelter House of Northwest Florida: $200,000, for support groups, counseling, advocacy and other programs for children impacted by domestic violence.
- The Arc of the Emerald Coast: $145,000, for early intervention and family education programs at its early intervention center.
- Youth Village: $100,000, for after-school programming for children from low-income families and the new capital campaign.
“We are grateful to the many supporters of DCWAF who have made this day possible. What cannot be overlooked is the effort that each of our supported organization has expended to help us raise the $2.7 million that was donated,” said John Russell, president of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation. “That is less of a gift and more of a sharing of proceeds from hard work by all, and it is an honor to play a role in their mission to help children.”
The Charity Wine Auction returns April 26-28, 2019. The foundation’s second largest fundraiser of the year, the Harvest Wine & Food Festival, returns to the Emerald Coast October 25-27, 2018. The festival, which takes place in WaterColor, Florida, showcases more than 400 wines paired with varied food offerings.