Children’s charities benefit from inaugural festival

charitry wine

Founding sponsors of South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival present $30,000 check to Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation to benefit children’s charities. Back row, from left, Bill Bubel, Howard Group; Richard Ross, Hilton Sandestin; Gary Brielmayer, Hilton Sandestin; Lauren Magli, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation; (front row, from left) Stacey Brady, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin; Kelli Carter, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council; Jim Bagby, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council; Chan Cox, Wine World; Myra Williams, Howard Group; John Russell, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation; and Karah Fridley-Young, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation. Not pictured is Carol Dover, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 15:45 PM.

The first South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival donated $30,000 to Destin Charity Wine Auctioin Foundation to help 14 children’s charities in Northwest Florida. The charity wine festival, which parted ways with the Sandestin Wine Festival in 2013, designated DCWAF as the sole recipient of all net proceeds of the event. More than 3,200 people attended the festival.

"Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation was honored to be the benefiting charity of the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival,” said John Russell, president of DCWAF. “These funds will provide much needed support to the 14 separate children's charities on the Emerald Coast that count on DCWAF for funding. Our auction was an integral element of the wine festival and the value of the synergy of working with South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival cannot be overstated. We believe this partnership was a key reason our auction revenues were up 16 percent over the previous year.”

Destin Charity Wine Auction was held during the wine and food festival and raised nearly $1.4 million dollars for the charitable organizations to address hunger, homelessness, abuse, and physical and mental disorders for thousands of children in Northwest Florida communities.

The South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival took place April 25-28, 2013, in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, a mixed-use Town Center located along South Walton’s Northwest Florida beaches. More than 800 wines, poured by dozens of noted national and international wine celebrities including Peter Mondavi, Jr., highlighted the festival. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village showcased local chefs as well as celebrity chefs including Norman Van Aken, a James Beard Award winner.

Entertainment at the festival was provided by a who's who of Nashville songwriters who performed as part of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association’s Summer Songwriter’s Series. They performed the hit songs they wrote for the biggest stars in the music business, including Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Vince Gill and many others.

 Festival founding partners include Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

The 2014 South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival takes place April 24-27.

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