Naples Winter Wine Festival provides more than $9 million to local organizations

More than $9 million is going to Collier County organizations helping children at risk.

The funds were raised by this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival.

It will go toward organizations like Youth Haven’s Transitional Living Cottage where 19-year-old Merci lived for about two years. The organization declined to release Merci’s last name.

“I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for Rob’s Cottage,” said Merci, of Collier County.

Rob’s Cottage Executive Director Linda Goldfield said the funds from the Naples Children & Education Foundation will lead to more success stories like Merci’s. The organization will receive about $270,000.

“Providing activities and programs to help them have a brighter and better future,” Goldfield said.

Down the road from the cottage is the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County which received about $450,000.

“We do everything from academic tutoring to character leadership development,” said Megan McCarthy- Beauvais, president & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County.

McCarthy-Beauvis said these activities wouldn’t be possible without help from the Naples Children & Education Foundation.

“There’s probably very little that NCEF funding doesn’t touch for us,” McCarthy-Beauvais said. “That’s how critically important it is.”

It’s also equally critical at the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee.

The center, which received about $520,000, works with impoverished children of all ages to help them break down academic barriers.

“Because of the funding from NCEF we are able to recruit and retain quality teachers,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president and CEO of the Guadalupe Center.


Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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