Collier named state’s ‘most generous county’ ahead of Naples Winter Wine Festival

A Southwest Florida county is being named the most generous county in our state for charitable contributions in a study conducted by SmartAsset.

Collier County was listed first as Florida’s most generous counties just in time for the start of the annual Naples Winter Wine Festival Saturday.

MORE: Most Generous Counties in the U.S. – Florida

The distinction came down to two factors — how many people in the county donate to charities and how much of their income is donated.

At the festival, organizers are expecting tons of donations from people in the Collier County.

Some big auction lots open to start the weekend event. A brand-new Lexus from Germain Lexus of Naples is just one among many others.

“Kids in this community are so much better off than years back because of the efforts of the people trustees and the staff, said Jackie Stephens of Children’s Advocacy Center.

Every year, Naples Winter Wine Festival brings in millions of dollars — all of it going to help kids in our community.

“Our referrals have really started to increase now, and we’re seeing some upsetting and severe types of abuse and neglect and sexual abuse,” Stephens said. “So it’s really important to continue to support the wine festival.”

Stephens says, this year, they are counting on those funds more than ever.

“I just hope everyone can do everything they can to support this event,” Stephens said.

Others we spoke to are not one bit surprised by the SmartAsset study.

“There’s a lot of big givers here,” Darko Obrodick said.

“People take care of the people that live in this community,” Steve Glavin said.

Many who call Collier County home agree.

“I know a lot of people, they have been successful and have been very lucky, and everything they have been given from God, they are, you know, giving a lot of it away,” Obrodick said.

While Collier County sits at the top of the state for most generous, it also ranks in the top 100 for U.S. counties, sitting at 81 for the national rank.

“I’ve worked here, raised a family here, and to hear it’s the most generous county, I’m just so proud,” Stephens said.

WINK News is proud to partner with Naples Children & Education Foundation each year for its annual Naples Winter Wine Festival.

To learn more, tune into the 1-hour special, “NCEF: A Community Comes Together,” when it airs at 7 p.m. on WINK-TV. You can also watch it live on the WINK News app.

After at 8 p.m., auction lots will go live online.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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