Thursday, May 29th, 2014

All Festival Proceeds Will Directly Benefit Children in Need

NAPLES, FL -- (Marketwired) -- The Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), one of the most prestigious wine festivals in the nation, will celebrate 15 years of the best in wine and food from January 23-25, 2015 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fl. The event will bring together renowned vintners and celebrity chefs from around the globe, along with wine enthusiasts and philanthropists, for a three-day festival that will raise crucial funds for children in need.

This year's theme, "Imagine the Possibilities," reflects the event's promise of making a profound and sustaining difference in the physical, emotional, and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children. Since its inception in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised more than $123 million for its founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), which gives out annual grants that have impacted over 40 non-profit agencies and the lives of about 200,000 children. This year alone, the festival raised $12.5 million. At the festival's Meet the Kids Day, guests will experience first-hand how funds raised at the festival will have a year-round impact on the lives of children in the surrounding communities.

The theme also invites participants to imagine the possibilities of winning one-of-a-kind wine and travel packages at auction, and appreciate the incredible wine and food of participating vintners and chefs. Guests to this three-day affair will enjoy wine tastings with acclaimed vintners and attend intimate dinners prepared by celebrated chefs at the private homes of NCEF trustees and supporters. Saturday's luncheon and wine auction, where attendees bid on exceptional wines, unforgettable dining experiences, and custom travel packages, as well as Sunday's celebration brunch, are held at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, one of the festival's founding sponsors.

Co-chairing the event this year are Sandi and Tom Moran and Sharon and Chuck Hallberg, all trustees of NCEF.

Sandi and Tom Moran have called Naples home for more than 30 years. Tom is the founding and managing partner of a 20 person investment management group based in Naples, Florida, and is recognized by Barron's as the #1 Advisor in Southwest Florida. Sandi is president of the United Arts Council and chairs the Vintner Committee for Naples Winter Wine Festival. Passionate about the community and its children, the couple focuses their charitable endeavors on initiatives to meet children's basic needs, including nurturing their academic success and promoting arts education. In recognition of their remarkable work and impact within the Naples community, Sandi and Tom received the 2010 Philanthropist of the Year's Lifetime Achievement award for Southwest Florida and in 2012 were honored by Gulfshore Life magazine as Men and Women of the Year.

Sharon and Chuck Hallberg moved to Naples in 2006 and have been involved in the NWWF for six years. They have a long history of involvement with children's health and education initiatives, including serving on the Board of Trustees of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and co-chairing the board's fundraising efforts. The couple has also been involved in fundraising endeavors for the Greater Naples YMCA, American Diabetes Association, and Cystic Fibrosis. Among their many accolades, Sharon's work on a pharmacy program implemented for the military and through the Department of Defense received the Presidential Recognition of Excellence award. In addition, MemberHealth, the company Chuck founded and the couple built together, earned the accolade of America's fastest growing private company by earning the #1 position in the Inc. 500 list.

"For the past 14 years, this extraordinary event has brought the finest in wine and food to one of this country's most beautiful locations, all for a vitally important cause," said Jim Swanson, CEO of Naples Children & Education Foundation. "Our extremely talented new co-chairs clearly bring the incredible energy, passion, and commitment needed to make the 2015 festival the most memorable yet."

Ticket packages to this exclusive event, limited to 550 guests, start at $8,500 per couple for festival tickets, with a $20,000 package that includes reserved seating for a party of four at a vintner dinner. For more information about Naples Winter Wine Festival, please visit or call 888-837-4919.

Lana Gersten
[email protected] 


Naples Winter Wine Festival, NWWF, wine, festival, celebrity chefs, charity, children in need, underprivileged, at-risk, Imagine the Possibilities


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