Over the last 27 years, each of these charitable children’s programs have directly benefited from the funds raised through Florida Winefest & Auction. Each year we accept new applications for grants. Each application is reviewed by the Grants Committee and the money allocated is distributed three weeks after the last Winefest event closes. Programs are monitored throughout the year by our dedicated volunteers. The following charities are benefiting from our 2017 event:

Community Haven

Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

Our Mission
“Through the support of the community and the generosity of its donors, Community Haven empowers independence and inclusion in all aspects of society for children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities by meeting their needs for therapy, education, socialization, housing, fitness, vocational training, job placement, and recreation.”

Our Vision
“Our vision is that all people with disabilities have good health, the fullest measure of success with school, a loving home, meaningful work, and unity with family, friends and the community.”

“Winefest’s grant will help fund our Transitions program which is the regional provider of High School/High Tech, a national program for students who are on track to receive a standard diploma, but have physical, emotional or other learning disabilities. Through HS/HT, students are encouraged to set their sights on college and career in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math. Students with disabilities who are not on track to obtain a standard diploma participate on Transition’s Work Trek program, which focuses on the employment preparedness skills required to obtain employment upon graduation. Work Trek exposes students to vocational training and job opportunities at Community Haven and elsewhere.”

Children First

“Children First is incredibly grateful for Florida Winefest & Auction’s continued support of the children and families we serve. This grant will provide support for our Families First Institute. The Families First Institute strengthens and enriches the lives of the community families we serve. By focusing on the family as a whole, we are helping families achieve greater self-sufficiency and ensuring a better community. We offer several classes and workshops that focus on child development, parenting strategies, career and personal growth, and money management.”

Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County

“The grant from the Florida Winefest & Auction will help us to further our mission of helping children prepare for and be successful in school. The Raising a Reader program will provide low-income children, ages 0-5 access to books they may not have at home and engage parents in a routine of daily reading with their children to foster healthy brain development, parent-child bonding, and early literacy skills critical for school success. This program will also connect the children and families to libraries to promote continued interest in reading. It will also stock the preschool centers’ classroom with the books that will rotate weekly for each child and serve new groups of children each year for the life of the books. Additionally, the program is aligned with the agency’s active involvement in the county-wide/regional Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and will serve as an early learning strategy to address the 51% of Manatee County children that are not reading at grade-level by the end of third grade.”

Family Partnership Center

“The generous support from Florida Winefest and Auction will help us further our mission to strengthen families and prevent child abuse through parenting education and support programs.

This grant will help us provide our evidence-based, in home parenting education program to parents of children ages 0-4 with a special emphasis on literacy and school readiness. Parents will learn proven techniques to improve cognitive, emotional, and social development that enable children to reach their full potential. This support will also help us address significant barriers to success such as poverty, isolation and violence. Parents are the most impactful people in a child’s life; thanks to Florida Winefest and Auction, parents will become strong, engaged, and supportive first teachers.”

Family Promise of Sarasota

“Family Promise of Sarasota is extremely grateful to the Florida Winefest & Auction for selecting us to partner with you to address the changing needs of children in our community. This is heartbreaking yet true, in the last year alone Family Promise has witnessed an increasing number of families with minor children that are in crisis and homeless. It means a great deal to Family Promise and our homeless families that the Florida Winefest & Auction is funding the REACH or the Recreation, Education, After School, Day Care and Holiday Program. This program will subsidize child care and funds for summer camp making it possible for parents to work and for children to be in care and attend recreational programs. Spring and summer breaks are particularly difficult for parents who cannot afford day care or camp for their children and this will afford them the opportunity to see that they are in the best programming possible.”

Foundation for Dreams

“Thanks to the generous grant from the Florida Winefest and Auction, children with special needs and chronic illnesses will be provided scholarships so they may attend the 2015 Dream Oaks Camp weekend, spring break and summer camp programs. The Florida Winefest and Auction funding helps us achieve our primary goals of providing a special place for children with special needs and chronic illnesses, so they may have the opportunity to bond with others, build steps toward self-confidence, strengthen activities of daily living and life skills, while providing parents and/or caregivers regular respite time from the daily responsibilities of caring for a child with special needs or chronic illnesses.”

Hope Family Services

“Thanks to the generous grant from the Florida Winefest and Auction, children who reside with their mother in HOPE Family Services’ (HOPE) Emergency Safe Shelter due to domestic violence will have healthy and nutritious meals made from wholesome and fresh staples. The Florida Winefest and Auction funding contributes to HOPE’s Children’s Healthy Eating Program designed to help residents learn the value of balanced and nutritionally sound meals, while strengthening client’s ability to budget for their family’s nutritional needs. The program is also intended to spark change in the way residents view feeding their children by learning about the hidden costs in prepared and processed food.”

Just For Girls

“Florida Winefest shares our vision of a community where today’s young girls grow up feeling safe, capable, and smart, having developed self-respect and self-confidence along with a desire to achieve academically. Thanks to Florida Winefest support, Just for Girls has tutors that help young girls with homework and FCAT preparation, and a literacy program that uses discussion, drama, art, movement, laughter, and writing to motivate girls to read.”

Laurel Civic Association

“Our Florida Winefest grant will make it possible for the Laurel Civic Association to provide a program coordinator and liaison for the children that we serve year round. This person contacts parents and teachers daily to make sure students who need help and support, get it as needed. There are no other options for safe, supervised after-school, homework assistance and summer activities for these students. We will hire someone to cook, serve and manage the Kid’s Café Program which ensures that more than 60 students a day, K-12, receive an afterschool meal. For some, this is their last meal of the day.”

Mothers Helping Mothers

“The faithful support of the Florida Winefest has made a difference in the lives of literally thousands of babies in our own back yard. Because of Winefest funding, Mothers Helping Mothers has been able to purchase more than 1,084 cribs for babies whom otherwise would not have a crib; more than 4,250 packs of diapers, about 90 car seats, and 210 Pack n’ Plays that are used as bassinets. 136 toddler beds have been provided for very young children; many of these children have been sleeping on the floor, and this is their first bed. We are so thankful!!”

Police Athletic League of Manatee County

“The Police Athletic League uses athletic and recreational programs as a tool, a way to involve children in the program. While involved with PAL, the message of avoiding gangs, drugs, alcohol, and other detriments, is discussed with the youngsters. Although nationally known as a recreation program, the Police Athletic League has adapted to the changing times. PAL programs now incorporate programs such as computer skills, mentoring, and homework help, to further aid our children.

Because of Florida Winefest’s funding, the PAL Scholarship Program can help those children who cannot afford to attend thereby tightening the bond between police officers and children in the community.”

Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART)

“We are so grateful to the Florida Winefest and Auction for their support of the children in our program with autism. With this grant, and because of this support, we will be able to provide therapeutic riding experiences to even more children with autism. At Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy, we “empower lives through the healing power of horses.² For children with autism, being around a horse and experiencing the movement of the horse can be especially powerful and life changing. The sky can be the limit in what can be learned and achieved, simply by capturing that elusive emotional connection that can drive a child¹s motivation, no matter their challenge. With the growing number of children who start out in life with these challenges, our society needs to embrace every avenue to nurture their potential. We thank the Florida Winefest and Auction for caring about the children with autism in our community, for believing in the important work that takes place at SMART–and for helping us continue making a difference in so many lives!”

Take Stock In Children

“Since 1996 Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County, Inc. has provided an avenue for low-income, at-risk middle school students to earn scholarships for four years of post -secondary education. In exchange for this opportunity, the students agree to maintain good grades, remain drug and crime free and to regularly meet with a mentor and student advocate. The goal of the Take Stock program is to break the cycle of poverty and help these students achieve success both in an out of the classroom. TSIC Sarasota thanks the Florida Winefest & Auction for their on-going support and generosity!”

Teen Court

“The Anger Management/Anti-Bullying & Individual/Family Counseling Program was developed to help at-risk youth deal with issues relating to anger management, fighting, teen dating violence, bullying, cyber-bullying, and sexting. Using cognitive, behavioral, developmental and gender specific approaches, young people learn the importance of their own personal safety. Participating in group discussions (9 hrs), facilitated by a licensed counselor or social worker, participants learn that their good decisions will lead to a productive, law-abiding, and healthy life. The group reinforces the importance of positive actions, and helps teens come to understand that feelings of anger, fear and pain, are normal and can be managed in a healthy manner. The classes teach coping mechanisms and the participants develop a plan for the future when challenges arise.”

The Healthy Start Coalition

“The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, infants, and young children. This grant from the Florida Winefest will support our mission by providing crucial Psychosocial Counseling to pregnant and postpartum women who are at risk for postpartum depression, anxiety, psychosis, and mental illness. These services are of the utmost importance in ensuring that moms in Sarasota County, and their babies, are healthy, happy, and safe. We are so grateful to the Florida Winefest for making it possible for Healthy Start to provide this invaluable service to mothers in our community. ”

Tiny Hands Foundation

“On behalf of the community children and families who benefit from the Tiny Hands Foundation’s charitable initiatives’ each year, we would like to sincerely thank the Florida Winefest & Auction for their very kind and generous support. We truly could not lead these important charitable initiatives without the help of kind and generous friends like you. We know you have many choices for charitable giving. Thank you again for supporting Tiny Hands Foundation and making a positive difference in our community! The Tiny Hands Foundation’s core mission is to improve the quality of impoverished children’s lives within our area. We believe in fostering an exchange of generosity and gratitude between the fortunate in our community and those who are in need.”

Turning Points

“The first four days of operations in June (June 1 through June 6) the Community Coalition on Homelessness processed 70 requests from individuals and families desperate for assistance to either get into housing or maintain the housing they are in. The funding from the Florida Winefest enabled 10 adults with 18 children to obtain and maintain housing, one of our most basic human needs. Each of these families had to demonstrate that with the Winefest financial help, they would be able to maintain sustainability. With a stable, safe place to sleep, shower, and basically live, these children we helped have a better opportunity to be successful in all their future endeavors.”

Volunteer Services Of Manatee County

“Support from Winefest instills the spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy in children as young as 8 years old as they identify and address local community needs in Manatee County.

Hundreds of ManaTEENs work together after school, weekends, holidays, and throughout the summer months to develop, implement and evaluate volunteer projects that benefit the community at large in the areas of animal welfare, disaster preparedness, environment, health and human service. Teenagers mentor younger ManaTEENs, encouraging them to become decision makers in their neighborhoods and schools. Thanks to Winefest, youth are considered to be compassionate and capable neighbors rather than “the noisy kids down the street! Thank you!”


American Diabetes Association

Asolo Theatre, Inc.

Bay Haven School of Basics Plus – Excellent Reader Program K-6

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Manatee County

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Sarasota

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Inc.

Boy Scouts of Sunny Land Council

Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, Inc.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Inc.

Child Development Center

Child Protection Center, Inc.

Children First

Community Coalition on Homelessness

Community Haven for Adults & Children with Disabilities, Inc.

Community Youth Development of Sarasota County

Deaf Service Center Manatee/Sarasota

Ear Research Foundation, Inc.

Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County

Emma E. Booker Elementary School

Every Child, Inc.

Exchange Club Family Partnership Center of Manatee County, Inc.

Family Counseling Center of Sarasota County, Inc.

Family Promise of Sarasota, Inc.

Family Resources, Inc.

F.E.L.T. (Feeding Empty Little Tummies)

Florida Center for Child & Family Development

Florida Studio Theatre

Florida West Coast Symphony, Inc.

Forty Carrots Family Center

Foundation for Dreams

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.

Girls Inc. of Sarasota County

Greater Newtown Redevelopment Corporation

Gulf Coast Diabetes Foundation

Gulf Coast Marine Institute, Inc.

Gulf Coast Marine Institute, So.

Gulf Gate Elementary School

Helen R. Payne Day Nursery

Hispanic American Alliance

HOPE Family Services, Inc.

Human Services Center

Humane Society of Sarasota County, Inc.

Jewish Family & Children’s Services

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Intl.

Laurel Civic Association, Inc.

Laurel Middle School/Nokomis Elem. School

Mana-Sota Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

Manatee Children’s Services

Manatee Council on Aging

Manatee County Girls Club, Just for Girls

Manatee County Police Athletic League

Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, Inc.

Mothers Helping Mothers, Inc.

Police Athletic League of Sarasota County, Inc.

Rebound Youth Service, Inc.

Resurrection House

Retired & Senior Volunteer Program

Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Inc.

Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Inc.

Sarasota County Braille Transcribers, Inc.

Sarasota County Educational Program

Sarasota Day Nursery, Inc.

Sarasota Family YMCA, Inc. HIPPY Program

Sarasota High School Street Smarts

Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART)

Sarasota Salvation Army

Sarasota Special Athlete Boosters, Inc.

South County Family YMCA

Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County

Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc.

The Children’s Guardian Fund

The Healthy Start Coalition

The Vision Foundation, Inc.

The Wellness Community / Southwest Florida

Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care

Tiny Hands Foundation

United Cerebral Palsy of Sarasota-Manatee, Inc.

Van Wezel Foundation for Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Volunteer Connections of Sarasota County

Volunteer Services of Manatee County

Women’s Legal Fund of Sarasota County

Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, Inc.

Youth Employment Services (Y.E.S. Kids, Inc.)

USF/New College Foundation