Naples Winter Wine Festival donors meet the children they help

NAPLES

Naples Winter Wine Festival donors have the chance to meet the children their money directly affects. The event benefits charities within the Naples Children and Education Foundation. And 100% of those donations stay in Collier County.

There are adorable children under the big white tent among the sea of ​​adults. Each of them benefits from the charity supported by the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

Meet Josh Wolfson is one of the kids who says the charity has helped him. But he is also an athlete. “I play tennis, paddle and basketball,” Wolfson said. With a tennis racket in his hand and a gold medal around his neck, John talks enthusiastically about all that Special Olympics has done for him.

“I don’t really know what I would use a lot of my time for. I really appreciate and really love Special Olympics, and I’m really happy to be here today,” he said.

“The other kids there are really nice. And I’ve made a lot of great friends through being in Special Olympics,” said Josh.

That’s what “Meet The Kids” day is all about. All donors and patrons of the festival have the opportunity to meet people like Josh, Makenzie and Landon. These donors see how these little faces directly benefit from the money that the Naples Winter Wine Festival and Auction brings in.

Landon loves Batman… a lot. “He has grappling hooks and he can fly!” he said. But he’s not the real hero of Landon’s life. Sydney Esquibel works with Better Together. “His mother is his hero,” Esquibel said.

Landon and his mother are part of Better Together, a non-profit organization that works to keep children and parents together and children out of foster care. This is another charity supported by the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

During “Meet the Kids” day, Landon said hello to everyone. “Landon is so excited. He, you know, said hello to everyone who was handing out our flyers. And I think being able to see kids from all these organizations that they can help really makes a difference,” Esquibel said.

Laina Kennedy is one of the many patrons of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. “One of the first people I met was a kid. And he was telling me about his dream of being a doctor and all that this organization is doing to support him. And it was so heartwarming to hear,” said said Kennedy.

Mackenzie Srancois told everyone about Valerie’s home and how it helped her. La Maison de Valérie offers bereaved support for children and adolescents. “My mother passed away two years ago,” Mackenzie said. “I am able to express what I feel. Because I feel like I can’t really tell my friends about it because you know they didn’t like going through something that I went through.

“And so it’s nice to see that you’re the only one that these kids understand and kids identify with you,” Mackenzie said.

Paul Hill is the chairman of the festival’s board of directors. “They can physically see the children and the impact they have on the children. It’s the endgame. I believe that in my heart,” Hill said.

And, in the hearts of these children, they can feel and see so many people cheering them on.

Charities help pay for meals, dental care, mental health care and education for these children.

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