In 2020, the Naples Children & Education Foundation invested $22.2 million in the future of Collier County to improve the lives of underprivileged and at-risk children. This funding included grants totaling $7.1 million to 43 local nonprofit organizations that improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of children, and $15.1 million toward seven multi-year strategic initiatives that fill fundamental gaps in children’s services.

NCEF supports organizations and programs across four service categories, each contributing to the well-being of the whole child.

  • child advocacy

  • early learning

  • medical/healthcare

  • out-of-school time

2020 Festival’s Fund a Need

“Fund the Future,” the 2020 Festival’s Fund a Need, highlighted all seven strategic initiatives and focused on the well-being of the whole child. Funds raised will support the continued success of our collective impact projects. Emotional, cognitive, social and physical development are interrelated and influence each other, which is why all our initiatives - Early Learning, Healthcare, Hunger, Mental Health, Oral Health, Out-of-School Time and Vision - are so necessary to provide children with the opportunities that physical and mental health afford.

Your contribution helps to nourish, heal and educate underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County, giving our most vulnerable people the chance to grow into strong and resilient adults. Each of NCEF’s collective impact models and initiatives provide the most fragile children with the tools they need to succeed academically and thrive. Thank you for supporting NCEF’s blueprint for success and transforming our community.

2020-2021 Grant Committee

The grant selection process is led by a Committee of ten trustees who work year round to determine how the funds raised at the Naples Winter Wine Festival can be used to make the greatest impact on the neediest children in our community.

  • John Walter
  • Darlene DeMichele
    Vice Chair
  • Linda Grijalva
    Committee Member
  • Barbie Hills
    Committee Member
  • Katrina Kash
    Committee Member
  • Kathy Mezzalingua
    Committee Member
  • Harry Rose
    Committee Member
  • Shirley Welsh
    Committee Member
  • Jeff Wessel
    Committee Member
  • Bill Wilson
    Committee Member
  • 2019-2020 Strategic Initiative Advisors
  • College & Career Empowerment
    Valerie Boyd
  • Early Learning
    Carol & John Walter
  • Hunger
    Susie McCurry
  • Mental Health
    Frank Hussey, Rick Kash, Anne Welsh McNulty and Jerry Starkey
  • Oral Health
    Becky & Lewie Card
  • Out-of-School Time
    John Scot Mueller
  • Vision
    Debbi Cary

Click below to access the reviewer login page.

Committee Login

2020 Grant Recipients

  • ABLE Academy


    ABLE Academy provides intensive applied behavior analysis and therapy for children with Autism and related disorders. NCEF funding will support the Early Intensive Intervention Institute for developmentally delayed children, ages 1 through 7, who do not qualify for other funding or services elsewhere.

  • Avow Hospice


    Avow Hospice provides hospice care, palliative care and grief support services. NCEF funding will support the Avow Kids program whose purpose is to relieve suffering experienced by children, whether they are living with a life-compromising illness/condition or struggling to cope with a significant loss.

  • Better Together


    Better Together works to prevent child abuse, strengthen families and promote independence through meaningful work by leveraging the power of the local community to support and equip families struggling with poverty and other life crises. NCEF funding will support the Better Families program which provides families in crisis with a safety net of support to protect children and prevent them from entering the foster care system.

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast


    Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast (BBBSSC) provides community and site-based mentoring for at-risk children. NCEF funding will provide opportunities for BBBSSC to pair youth with mentors, expand site-based mentoring and the Beyond School Walls mentoring program in Immokalee, targeting economically needy children living in single parent homes as well as those coping with parental incarceration.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Collier County


    Boys & Girls Club of Collier County provides daily after-school and summer enrichment programs to inspire and enable children throughout Collier County, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to reach their full potential. NCEF funding will provide academic and youth development summer programming for over 800 at-risk children in Golden Gate and East Naples.

  • Brighter Bites


    Brighter Bites creates communities of health by increasing access to fresh produce with the goal of improving eating habits among children and their families to curb the childhood obesity epidemic and improve health outcomes. NCEF funding will support produce distribution in underserved areas and nutrition education in Title I Schools.

  • Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation


    Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons through sports-themed programs. NCEF funding will support Badges for Baseball, a College Experience Day for 100 middle school-aged children and allow youth from Collier County the opportunity to attend a week-long overnight summer baseball leadership camp in Aberdeen, Maryland. The grant will also support the addition of two STEM centers and provide training for mentors.

  • Catholic Charities


    Catholic Charities seeks to serve and empower ALL in need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. NCEF funding will provide support for bilingual counseling services for sexually abused, neglected and behaviorally impaired children.

  • Champions For Learning


    Champions For Learning, The Education Foundation of Collier County, makes it possible for our community to impact lives by enriching the environment for student learning. NCEF funding will support the Real-World Learning Model: College & Career Prep Program, which will provide underserved students with a college/career readiness curriculum and help students connect to their future.

  • Child's Path, formerly known as Collier Child Care Resources


    Child’s Path, formerly known as Collier Child Care Resources, supports the needs of Collier County’s children, families and early learning professionals by providing high-quality education, resources and child care services. NCEF funding will provide scholarships for low-income children, ages birth to 5.

  • Children’s Advocacy Center


    Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) provides services to the most severely abused and traumatized children in the community. NCEF funding will help pay for medical and social evaluations, case management, trauma-focused therapy and counseling.

  • Conservancy of Southwest Florida


    Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s mission is to protect Southwest Florida’s unique natural environment and quality of life. NCEF funding will provide a summer science camp for at-risk children. Funding will also support the capacity building dollars for the development of a mobile STEM classroom.

  • Friends of Foster Children Forever


    Friends of Foster Children Forever provides abused, neglected and abandoned children with the social, educational and financial support the State does not. NCEF funding will support the educational and out-of-school time opportunities for children in foster care. Funding will also support a liaison to further assist caregivers in navigating through available resources and programs offered.

  • Fun Time Early Childhood Academy


    Fun Time Early Childhood Academy provides safe, quality, affordable education and care for children of low-income working families in the River Park area. NCEF funding will support tuition assistance for 96 toddlers and preschoolers to receive quality child development services year-round.

  • Gargiulo Education Center


    Gargiulo Education Center supports the academic and social development of North Naples migrant children through a free, safe and structured after-school program. NCEF funding will provide scholarships for children in need of after-school care and will help support their Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Program available to the high school students.

  • Grace Place for Children and Families


    Grace Place for Children and Families strives to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring students graduate from high school, seek continued higher education and enter the workforce as hard-working, prepared professionals. NCEF funding will support a high school leadership program, afterschool services for elementary school-aged children and support the Bright Beginnings program to increase family literacy.

  • Guadalupe Center


    Guadalupe Center provides educational, social and other support programs and resources to ensure success for disadvantaged children and families of Immokalee. NCEF funding will provide Early Childhood Education for children in need, in addition to providing support for their families with a high-quality, home-based, family-focused curriculum through the SmartStart Program.

  • Leadership Collier Foundation


    Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) serves as the team lead for work-based learning, part of the mission of Future Ready Collier. LCF’s goal is to grow workforce talent in Collier County by developing students’ soft skills and exposing them to work-related opportunities. NCEF funding will support the expansion of these youth development programs focusing on work-based learning experiences.

  • Legal Aid


    Legal Aid provides high-quality, free civil legal advice, representation and education to the residents in Collier County. NCEF funding will support the Children’s Legal Services Project to promote stability and well-being in the lives of children in the dependency system and those victimized by exposure to domestic violence, trauma and abuse. Free legal services will be provided for up to 625 at-risk children annually.

  • Literacy Volunteers of Collier County


    Literacy Volunteers of Collier County enhances the lives of our students, families and children by improving their English skills. NCEF funding will support the Children and Parents Reading Together (CPRT) program which supplements and reinforces what the child is learning in class, in addition to educating the parent by promoting parental engagement in their child’s education.

  • MusicScores!


    MusicScores! is a cost-effective program that provides violin instruction for preschoolers to enhance literacy, self-regulation and focus. NCEF funding will enable 420 Head Start children in 25 Pre-K classrooms to participate in this research-based and data-driven program.

  • Naples Therapeutic Riding Center


    Naples Therapeutic Riding Center improves the lives of children and adults with special needs through therapeutic riding and other equine-related programs. NCEF funding will support therapeutic riding, advanced therapeutic riding, equine-facilitated learning as well as summer horsemanship camp. The benefits of therapeutic riding and advanced therapeutic riding include, but are not limited to, marked improvement in physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.

  • PACE Center for Girls


    PACE Center for Girls’ mission is to provide girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. NCEF funding will support therapeutic counseling services to provide early identification, expert diagnosis and effective individual treatment of psychiatric and behavioral disorders that will help prepare girls for academic and social-emotional success and their futures.

  • Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee (formerly known as Immokalee Child Care Center)


    Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee serves the Immokalee community by providing exceptional educational programs and the highest quality childcare. Without high-quality and subsidized child care, households would lose the ability to work and provide for their family, and children would not be ready for kindergarten. NCEF funding will subsidize 125 early learning spots.

  • Safe & Healthy Children's Coalition


    Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County focuses on saving children’s lives through injury prevention and health promotion. NCEF funding will fund the drowning prevention and water safety program, Swim Central. The program will provide layers of protection through water safety education for at-risk and underserved families as well as water safety lessons for 1,300 children.

  • Special Olympics


    Special Olympics helps people with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society by offering a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through a structured athletic program. NCEF funding will support the Young Athletes Program, Unified Champion Schools and the continuation of Camp Shriver.

  • St. Matthew's House


    St. Matthew’s House exists to change the lives of vulnerable and hurting individuals and families. NCEF funding will support the Essential Child Services Program which serves many of the most vulnerable children and families in Collier County. Funding will be used for childcare, urgent necessities such as medical and mental health care, tutoring and school-related expenses and more.

  • Taste the Impact


    Taste the Impact is a nonprofit youth entrepreneurship program creating career-ready teens ready to break the cycle of poverty in Immokalee, Florida. NCEF funding will support Taste of Immokalee, a student-run, real-world entrepreneurship program where students learn through a “hands-on” experience approach regarding the operation of a successful business with the purpose of creating social change.

  • The Shelter for Abused Women & Children


    The Shelter for Abused Women & Children provides safety, intervention, education and support to victims and survivors of domestic violence. NCEF funding will support onsite counseling and advocacy programs for children who have been exposed to domestic violence and abuse, as well as the Primary Prevention program, which creates a learning environment that inspires children and youth to create peaceful and nonviolent environments.

  • United Arts Council of Collier County


    United Arts Council enriches the lives and strengthen the community through the power of the arts. NCEF funding will permit over 700 children to participate in academic and enrichment services during after-school hours.

  • Valerie's House


    Valerie’s House is devoted to providing children and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one a safe place to share and experience support with others who are also grieving, while moving through the healing process. NCEF funding will provide art, music and group therapy to help youth identify, express and process grief, to become mentally stable, healthy and successful in school and life.

  • YMCA of South Collier (formerly known as Greater Marco Family YMCA)


    The YMCA of South Collier has established out-of-school programs that build strong mind, body and spirit for the children of their community. NCEF funding will provide over 600 children in the Everglades City, Manatee and East Naples areas with after-school and summer programs.

  • Youth Haven


    Youth Haven’s mission is to protect and empower children and to strengthen families in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. NCEF funding will support the Homeless Teen Transitional Living Program (HTTLP) which provides a safe, reliable and life-changing resource for vulnerable youth.

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