Over the last 29 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 2018 event:
The Blessing Bags Project
The Blessing Bags Project is a volunteer based 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization that services Manatee and Sarasota Counties assisting the homeless children and their families by providing basic, critical needs. In addition, it provides services to navigate families towards sustainability by offering a variety of empowerment workshops and by addressing each family’s individual needs. The volunteers at the The Blessing Bags Project of Bradenton also have a “Street Ministry” where they see first-hand the needs of children requiring food, clothing, shoes, diapers, warm jackets, and sleeping bags.
They provide “Children’s Bags” to local agencies that meet with newly homeless families. Each child is given a handmade cloth bag containing hygiene products, coloring sets, healthy snack, and a Beanie Baby to hug. The needs of children continue to grow. We are thankful for the local businesses, volunteers and generous donations that ensure that tomorrow will be a better day for those children and their families less fortunate in our community.
“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.”
Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.
“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 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.”
Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County
“The generous support of The Florida Winefest & Auction allows the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County, Inc. to further support high quality school readiness opportunities for children and their families throughout Manatee County. In 2018, The Florida Winefest and Auction supports our newest quality initiative the Wave Fitness program. The WAVE Fitness Program is a prevention-driven, health and wellness program designed to support preschool children of Manatee County in achieving goals for improving long-term health and wellness. The program applies the principles of elite sports performance training to improve gross motor skills, flexibility, balance, coordination and strength while encouraging a lifestyle of consistent physical activity and healthy choices. Preschools receive a block of functional fitness programming for their students twice per week. The 30-45-minute block of training consists of five minutes of dynamic warm-up followed by a rotation through several stations. The stations emphasize one of the five functional fitness areas: flexibility/mobility, strength, speed, agility, and endurance. Additionally, the program includes key components of the 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go & activities that promote healthy eating and nutritional awareness.”
Everyday Blessings, Inc.
"The support of the Florida Winefest & Auction grant will assist those youth in the Springboard program, an innovative program designed to meet the many needs of young adults aged 18-22 who are participating in the Extended Foster Care Program. These youth are at a critical point in their transition into full independence and we provide them with the support and tools that they will need to do this successfully. Without our support, they face an increased chance of homelessness, incarceration and unwanted pregnancies."
Foundation for Dreams
"It is through the help and generosity of the Florida Winefest and Auction that we are able to continue our work giving children with special needs and chronic illnesses unforgettable camp experiences where they can participate and succeed in activities adapted to their strengths, empowering them to learn new skills, engage in meaningful friendships, and develop a lifelong sense of exploration and wonder. You are making a difference that stretches far beyond our campus, impacting the hearts and lives of children for years to come. We are so grateful that you are joining us in making real change possible, igniting the flames that enable the children we serve to BURN BRIGHT. Thank you for being the spark!"
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 help save lives by providing a safe place to sleep to local babies who would otherwise have none, and education for parents about how to reduce the risk of SIDS and infant death due to unsafe sleep. We are so grateful to the Florida Winefest for making it possible for Healthy Start to provide grateful families in our community with this very important gift. "
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
“The Florida Winefest grant is a cornerstone of our Empowering Youth Program by helping to underwrite the salaries of two employees we could not do this program without: the Empowering Youth Coordinator/Liaison and the Program Assistant who manages our school year Kid’s Café that makes sure each child has an evening meal along with taking care of our homework assistance space. The Empowering Youth Program encompasses essential activities including safe, supervised after-school homework assistance, computer access, school/parent support, and life skills training that lead to graduation. With the support of our safe, educational summer activities we are able to make summer a great time for hundreds of young people. We make sure they have a midday meal, and give them a pathway to a successful post-secondary future. Thank you Florida Winefest and Auction for supporting us with the staff to make our program successful.”
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 1,205 cribs for babies whom otherwise would not have a crib; more than 5,250 packs of diapers, about 100 car seats, and 260 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!!”
“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.”
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!"
The grant monies received from Florida Winefest & Auction will be used to bring Selah Freedom’s nationally renowned Prevention program to the most vulnerable population in our community – children. 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys are sexually abused and over 300,000 American children are taken into sex trafficking every year. Selah Freedom’s Prevention Program works to get ahead of the issue. Their curriculum educates them on how to identify the tactics of sex traffickers and recruiters and empowers them to speak up if they or someone they know faces abuse. Each age-appropriate curriculum is customized for children and youth K-12thgrade and includes information on safe touch, safe adults, identifying secrets vs. surprises and more.
"Thanks to the generous grant from the Florida Winefest and Auction, Teen Court case managers can refer clients and their families to mental health counseling. These sessions are free of charge to the family and are imperative for the child’s success. During these sessions, Teen Court clients and their caregivers learn to communicate successfully. They begin to understand how to manage fear, pain and anger in a healthy manner utilizing the tools gained in therapy. These are all priceless skills made possible for young people that would otherwise not have this opportunity thanks to Florida Winefest and Auction’s generosity."
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.”
“The funding we receive from the Florida Winefest enables us to assist families in obtaining and maintaining housing, one of the most basic of human needs. Responding quickly to individuals and families in crisis due to housing issues is the primary focus of our Transitional Development Program. People can get case management, information, and education regarding resources available at Turning Points and through our community partners to ensure that they are connected to the resources they need to gain stability. Clients learn about budgeting, how to gain and maintain financial sustainability so that their families have better opportunities to be successful in their future endeavors. We are extremely grateful for the longtime partnership and support of the Florida Winefest which helps make these services possible.”
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!”
GRANT RECIPIENTS TO DATE
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.
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.
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