In 2018, the Naples Children & Education Foundation awarded $15.1 million to improve the lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. Annual grants totaling $5.8 million were given to over thirty non-profit agencies, an additional $9.3 million will support six multi-partner, multi-year Strategic Initiatives that are fundamentally changing service delivery for the county’s most vulnerable children, $2.4 million will be allocated to Children’s Hunger, with a focus on nutrition, and Children’s Oral Health from the 2018 Fund a Need.  All NCEF traditional grant funding falls into the following service categories:

  • child advocacy

  • early learning

  • medical/healthcare

  • out of school time

2019 Festival’s Fund a Need

“Beautiful Minds,” the 2019 Festival’s Fund a Need will focus on Children's Mental Health, aiming to fundamentally transform and expand mental health care for at-risk Collier County children through an innovative and groundbreaking coalition of healthcare providers, community mental health professionals, social services and the public school system.

It’s estimated that 1 in 10 young people will struggle with a mental health issue prior to age 10, while 50 percent of lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. That’s why early identification, expert diagnosis and effective individual treatment of childhood psychiatric and learning disorders are vitally needed.

2018-2019 Grant Committee

The grant selection process is led by a Committee of eleven 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.

  • Paul Hills
  • Joe Masterson
    Vice Chair
  • Lewie Card
    Committee Member
  • Darlene DeMichele
    Committee Member
  • Sue Garrabrant
    Committee Member
  • Rick Kash
    Committee Member
  • Kathy Mezzalingua
    Committee Member
  • Don Smith
    Committee Member
  • Jerry Starkey
    Committee Member
  • Ed Staros
    Committee Member
  • John Walter
    Committee Member
  • 2018-2019 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

2018 Grant Recipients

  • ABLE Academy



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

  • 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 continues to 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 provides community and site-based mentoring for at-risk children. NCEF funding continues to provide the opportunity for BBBSSC to pair youth with mentors, expand site-based mentoring, and the Beyond School Walls mentoring program in Immokalee. This project will target 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 continues to provide academic and youth development summer programming for 1,100 at-risk children in Golden Gate and East Naples.

  • Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation



    Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to at-risk young people living in America’s most distressed communities through sports-themed programs. NCEF funding continues to support Badges for Baseball, special needs programming at the Adaptive Field, a College Experience Day for 150 middle school-aged children and allow youth from Collier County the opportunity to attend a week-long overnight summer baseball camp in Aberdeen, Maryland.

  • Catholic Charities



    Catholic Charities seeks to serve and empower ALL in need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. NCEF funding continues to 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.

  • Children’s Advocacy Center



    Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) provides services to the most severely abused and traumatized children in the community. NCEF funding continues to help pay for medical and social evaluations, case management, trauma-focused therapy and counseling. CAC is the only entity able to provide medical diagnoses of child abuse, child forensic interviews and safe custody exchanges.

  • Collier Child Care Resources



    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 continue to provide scholarships for low-income children and families in the Golden Gate area.

  • Conservancy of Southwest Florida



    Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s mission is to protect Southwest Florida’s unique natural environment and quality of life…now and forever. NCEF funding will continue to provide a summer science camp for at-risk children. Camp will focus on increasing the academic proficiency in science and math through inquiry-based programming that will foster abilities such as critical thinking, collaboration, interpreting scientific information and data.

  • Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Foundation



    FGCU’s High School Culinary Career & Life Skills Transition Program (Pathways) exposes students to advanced culinary techniques, sound management practices, personal development, life skill tools, career navigation skills, and university competency-based curriculum modules. NCEF funding will support Pathways and aid in escalating the university’s ability to serve disadvantaged youth enrolled in high school culinary programs, transition them into hospitality careers, and increase their access to university educational programs.

  • 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 continues to support the educational and out-of-school time opportunities for children in foster care and has enabled thousands of foster children to discover hidden talents, boost their self-esteem, sustain good academic grades and most importantly, begin to realize their individual potential. 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 continues to 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 continues to provide scholarships for 70 children in need of after-school care.

  • Golisano Children's Museum of Naples



    Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples provides an exciting, inspiring environment where children and their families play, learn, and dream together. NCEF funding continues to support C’mon’s PreK program that allows at-risk and underprivileged children to participate in a multi-sensory, hands-on, playful learning initiative preparing them socially and emotionally not only for the rigors of kindergarten learning, but also stimulates family and lifelong learning.

  • Good Wheels



    Good Wheels is the state-designated Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) and the major transportation provider for the “Transportation Disadvantaged.” NCEF funding will allow Good Wheels to transport NCEF beneficiaries to and from medically needed appointments in addition to field trips.

  • 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 continues to provide a service learning and high school leadership program that will serve as a pathway to college for at-risk youth in the Golden Gate area; afterschool services for elementary school-aged children; along with the Bright Beginnings program to help with increasing 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 continues to provide Early Childhood Education for 275 children in addition to 50 children and families with a high-quality, home-based, family-focused curriculum through the SmartStart Program.

  • Legal Aid



    Legal Aid provides high-quality, free civil legal advice, representation and education to the residents in Collier County. NCEF funding continues to 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 500 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 continues to 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 and promotes parental engagement in their child’s education.

  • MusicScores!



    MusicScores! is a cost-effective program that creates school learners, by providing violin instruction that enhances literacy and focus, as well as social and motor skills, for preschoolers. Significant research regularly supports that these interventions before age five yield the highest rewards in a child’s future. NCEF funding permits 360 Head Start children to participate in this research-based and data-driven program.

  • Naples Botanical Garden



    Naples Botanical Garden connects people with plants by conserving and researching the biological diversity of our collections and ecosystems. NCEF funding continues provide at-risk students a STEAM focused summer program. This program is designed to reduce summer learning loss.

  • 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 continues to 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 in individuals.

  • 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 success in kindergarten. NCEF funding continues to subsidize 100 early learning spots.

  • Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA)



    Redlands Christian Migrant Association provides quality child care and early education for children of migrant farm workers and rural, low-income families throughout Collier County. NCEF funding continues to serve more than 185 children through quality early learning programming.

  • 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 continues to fund the drowning prevention/water safety program, Swim Central. This program will provide layers of protection through water safety education for at-risk and underserved families and provide water safety lessons for 1,100 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 continues to support the Young Athletes Program and Unified Champion Schools.

  • St. Matthew's House



    St. Matthew’s House exists to change the lives of vulnerable and hurting individuals and families. NCEF funding continues to provide the Essential and Vital Child Services Voucher Program to enrich the lives of these underprivileged children. The vouchers support the cost of vital resources essential for the stability and success of children as their families overcome homelessness and addiction.

  • The Greater Marco Family YMCA



    The Greater Marco Family YMCA has established out-of-school programs that build strong mind, body and spirit for the children of their community. NCEF funding continues to serve over 400 children in the Manatee and East Naples areas, providing them with after-school and summer programs. These programs will have an academic component to help participants maintain their academic skills throughout the summer.

  • 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 continues to support the Primary Prevention program, which creates a learning environment that inspires children and youth to create peaceful and nonviolent environments as well as onsite counseling and advocacy programs to children who have been exposed to domestic violence and abuse.

  • United Arts Council of Collier County



    United Arts Council enriches the lives and strengthen the community through the power of the arts. NCEF funding continues to permit over 500 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 continues to provide youth in Collier County arts, music, and group therapy, to help them identify, express and process grief, to become mentally healthy, stable and successful in school and life; in addition to focusing on school outreach through the Valerie’s House Schools Awareness Program.

  • 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 continues to support the Homeless and Runaway Teen Transitional Living Program (H.A.R.T.) which provides a safe, reliable and life-changing resource for vulnerable youth.

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