NAPLES, Fla.- Changing the lives of the under-privileged and the under-served, that's the goal behind the Naples Winter Wine Festival now in it's 13th year. Today WINK News was there as those closest to the event got to meet the children who will benefit the most.
"You will hear her say "whoa" or "walk on!"
Those were the first words that came out of two-year-old Claire's mouth as she sat on a horse. It gave Naples Equine Challenge hope, that one day she would be able to speak.
"The doctor told her horse therapy would help her, it stimulates her brain moves up to her spinal cord and words will be able to come out of her mouth," said Program Director Missy Saracino.
Claire is battling a rare disease, but through her equine therapy, her voice can sometimes be heard at the stables.
"A lot of the times, the first words are on the back of a horse, it's magical and special and so important for the families."
And for Grace Cobos, free day care at the St. Matthews House has given her a chance to better provide for her family.
"I was able to look for work, have them in a stable day care and know they could take care of them and do a good job," said Cobos.
The help of the community has lifted a huge burden off Cobos' shoulders.
"I can save enough to get my own car, get my own place, get on my feet and be independent."
These families represent the 28 charities who will benefit from the Naples Winter Wine Festival.
"I get overwhelmed with the generosity of the people in this community, they know the difference it made," said Chairwoman Adria Starkey.
Each charity has a different mission, a different purpose, but the same goal--to help the kids of Collier County who need it most.
"It's so emotional, just to watch all the children and the impact it has made."
Since 2001, the festival has raised more than $110 million for the kids.