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More than 50 nonprofit organizations serving underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County are benefiting from the more than $33 million the Naples Children & Education Foundation raised this year at the Naples Winter Wine Festival. 

The NCEF, the founding organization of the annual wine festival, announced its grant awards March 18, to the organizations in which it is investing the record amount raised during its January event themed Generosity in Full Bloom. These investments in future generations include more than, $6.6 million in funding for traditional grants, $19.4 million for NCEF multiyear strategic initiatives that fill fundamental gaps in local children’s services, and, $7.2 million in funding for future projects and strategic initiatives. 

“The 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival broke all records, allowing us to provide the highest amount of funding ever for underprivileged and at-risk children in our community,” said Jacki Guinn, chair of the 2023-24 NCEF Grant Committee. “We are thrilled to support these nonprofits in our mission of making a profound and sustaining difference in the lives of children in Collier County.” 

This year, a total of 32 organizations received traditional grants, plus 19 additional agencies that help fill critical needs in the community by taking part in NCEF’s multipartner, multiyear strategic initiatives focusing on the well-being of the whole child. Those initiatives receiving funding include early learning, health care, hunger, mental health, oral health, out-of-school time and vision. 

NCEF’s approach, emphasizing collaboration between organizations while bridging public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time. Each NCEF beneficiary is fully vetted using a Blueprint Partner program. 

“Our strategic partners collaborate throughout the year to optimize funding, avoid duplication and develop innovative programs aimed at delivering high-quality services to support local children,” said NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara. “The amount allocated for these multiyear initiatives is quite significant, reflecting our overwhelming belief in their impact and efficacy.” 

2024-25 Beneficiaries 

Here is the alphabetical list of the NCEF 2024-25 traditional beneficiaries and dollar amounts: 

  • ABLE Academy, $180,000 
  • Avow Kids, $115,000 
  • Better Together, $200,000 
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, $100,000 
  • Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, $450,000 
  • Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, $75,000 
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice, $290,000 
  • Champions For Learning, $275,000 
  • Children’s Advocacy Center, $686,000 
  • Conservancy of Southwest Florida, $75,000 
  • Educational Pathways Academy, $75,000 
  • First Tee, $75,000 
  • Fostering Success (formerly Friends of Foster Children Forever), $389,500 
  • Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, $275,000 
  • Grace Place for Children and Families, $390,000 
  • Legal Aid Service of Collier County, $600,000 
  • Literacy Volunteers of Collier County, $85,000 
  • MusicScores Violin, $50,000 
  • Naples Therapeutic Riding Center, $200,000 
  • NCH, $84,000 
  • NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition, $50,000 
  • NCH – Collier CARES, $62,000 
  • Pace Center for Girls, $100,000 
  • Special Olympics Florida, $127,500 
  • St. Matthew’s House, $100,000 
  • STARability Foundation, $80,000 
  • Taste the Impact, $125,000 
  • The Salvation Army of Collier County, $75,000 
  • The Shelter for Abused Women & Children, $150,000 
  • United Arts Collier, $75,000 
  • Valerie’s House, $200,000 
  • YMCA of Collier County, $400,000 
  • Youth Haven, $425,000 

TOTAL traditional funding, $6,639,000 

NCEF initiative organizations and Blueprint Partners 

Early Learning (total 2024-25 funding, $200,000):  

  • Early Learning Coalition of SWFL  

Health care (total 2024-26 funding, $1,215,000): 

  • FSU College of Medicine (2024-29) 
  • Healthcare Network 

Hunger (total 2024-26 funding, $497,000): 

  • Midwest Food Bank 
  • Our Daily Bread Food Pantry 
  • Pan-Florida Challenge 

Mental Health (total 2024-27 funding, $8,604,000): 

  • David Lawrence Centers 
  • FSU College of Medicine’s Isabel Collier Read Medical Campus (2024-28) 
  • Golisano Children’s Hospital 
  • Healthcare Network 
  • NAMI Collier 

Oral Health (total 2024-26 funding, $3,617,000): 

  • Healthcare Network 
  • University of Florida College of Dentistry 

Out-of-School Time (total 2024–25 funding, $2,073,000): 

  • Boys & Girls Club of Collier County 
  • Guadalupe Center 
  • Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) 
  • The Immokalee Foundation  

Vision (total 2024-26 funding, $1,705,000): 

  • Bascom Palmer Eye Institute 
  • Florida Lions Eye Clinic 
  • Lighthouse of Collier

Special Projects (total funding, $1,469,000): 

  • Collier CARES 
  • Early Learning Capacity Building 
  • Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation – NCEF Early Childhood Development Center 
  • UF Lastinger Center for Learning – Math Matrix 

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