NEWS PRESS: Southwest Florida events on list of top wine auctions

Southwest Florida events on list of top wine auctions2With its two wine auctions again making Wine Spectator magazine’s list of top U.S. charity wine auctions in 2014, Southwest Florida philanthropists have reason to cheer.

And the Southwest Florida connections to the top 10 list from 2014 don’t end there. The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, which made the top five, is called by Southwest Florida auctioneer Scott Robertson. He’s called the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest for years but is also gaining greater prominence on the national charity auction circuit.

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FLORIDA WEEKLY: Bonita Springs vintner dinners contribute to record-setting festival

Bonita Springs vintner dinners contribute to record-setting festivalTwo of the nine chef vintner dinners that were part of the donation record-setting 2015 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest auction were held in Bonita Springs.

One was at Barefoot Beach in the home of Debbie and Bill Toler. The theme was “Old Hollywood,” Charles Mereday of Mereday’s Fine Dining prepared the dinner and the vintner was Fisher Vineyards. The other Bonita Springs dinner was in the home of Ute and Franz Rosinus with an “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” theme. The chef was Andreas Singer of the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, and Gamble Family Vineyards and Vineyard 29 were the vintners.

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GULFSHORE LIFE: HOT DISH: Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest

gulfshore-life-3-11-2015There was plenty to cheer about Saturday at the seventh annual Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s live auction. After the intimate Friday night vintner dinners featuring multicourse meals prepared by the area’s most talented chefs—and paired with some of the country’s best wines—patrons hardly needed the help of the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders (a fun addition early on that has withstood the test of time) to get the crowd excited for an afternoon of gourmet eats, fine wines, extravagant prizes and, most importantly, the chance to help out local children’s charities.

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NAPLES DAILY NEWS: Kudos & Kicks

kudosOne of the many worthwhile charitable pushes underway in Southwest Florida is raising money for the new, expanded Golisano Children’s Hospital.

So the resounding success of the 2015 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, one of the primary fundraisers to benefit the hospital, is an outcome worth cheering.

A weekend ago, the annual event at Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club in Estero brought in $3.35 million through the auctioning of 35 lots, such as fine wines, art and specially arranged trips. That easily topped the prior record of $2.5 million raised a year ago.

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THE JOURNAL: RAISING A TOAST

The Journal Raising A ToastPARADISE COAST, YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN.

Paddles were raised high, fine wine was sipped and culinary creations savored at the Southwest Florida Wine and Food Festival. More than $3.35 million flowed in for Golisano Children’s Hospital during the weekend of Feb. 27-28 and it’s no surprise that a bevy of passionate people made the whole thing possible

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NAPLES HERALD: SWFL Wone and Food Fest donates millions to hospital; child’s artwork breaks world record

Naples HeraldLocal wine enthusiasts gathered at the Southwest Florida Wine and Food Fest Grand Tasting and Auction at Miromar Lakes on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 28. Wineries from all over the country poured into the Beach Clubhouse in Estero to share samples of their finest bottles. All proceeds from the grand auction were run through the SWFL Children’s Charities before primarily benefitting the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Highlights from the fundraiser included performances by the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders, the National Anthem sung by nine-year-old Tori Law and a butterfly release. One child-patient from Golisano, 11-year-old Sophia Black, was presented as the event’s featured artist.

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NAPLES DAILY NEWS: Young artist’s drawing sells for $500,000

Young artist's drawing sells for 500,000To all those suffering from illness, Sophia Black, 11, has a message:

“Just keep your head held high no matter how much it hurts,” she said.

Sophia, who has cancer, was the child artist featured Saturday at the Southwest Florida Wine and Food Fest held at Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club.

It’s a tradition at the annual fundraiser that a piece of artwork by a child is auctioned, to help raise money for the expansion of Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and two other causes. Her drawing sold for $500,000.

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THE NEWS-PRESS: SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WINE & FOOD FEST

NP 3-1-15 Bids fare wellGuests cheered as the tally of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest hit $3.353 million — a record — but Dorothy Fitzgerald wasn’t satisfied.

“Sit down. I mean, sit down!” the event co-chair shouted Saturday from the podium at Miromar Lakes Beach Club. “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and the fat lady ain’t sung yet.”

With that, she urged guests to keep giving to one auction lot — No. 30, It’s Time to Make Change. Donors tossed coins with certain amounts into piggy banks; wine fest trustees Gary King and Rose O’Dell King would match each donation up to $25,000.

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THE NEWS-PRESS: CHEFS BRING WINE & FOOD FEST FLAVORS HOME

WINE AND FOOD FEST FLAVORS.pdfLee County’s most prestigious and profitable fundraiser is mere days away. Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest kicks off Friday night with 10 exclusive vintner dinners that will be held in homes around the area.

More than a dozen local chefs are kicking things into high gear in anticipation of these dinners, and of the Grand Tasting and Auction to be held Saturday at Miromar Lakes Beach Club. The festival has raised more than $11.6 million for the Golisano Children’s Hospital, Florida Southwestern State College’s pediatric nursing program and Florida Gulf Coast University’s music therapy program.

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NAPLES DAILY NEWS: Morsels of Experience

MORSELS OF EXPERIENCEExecutive Chef Brent Moore at Tiburón Golf Club in North Naples has been a kind of Johnny Appleseed in reverse. He’s gathered choice morsels from Colorado to New York to Texas and points between. Sometimes, he found them at culinary school, but most often at internships, paying jobs and even in unpaid stints learning from chefs further along in their fields.

What he’s collected shows up in the menus at the restaurant and pub at Tiburón and will be featured among dishes from 18 local chefs at the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest Grand Tasting on Saturday at Miromar Lakes. There, he’ll prepare Nueske bacon sliders, using the bacon made in Wisconsin he fell in love with while on an American Culinary Federation internship at The Lodge at Vail in Colorado.

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