Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation Donates $2.7 Million to 15 Children’s Charities

August 27, 2018 by SoWal Staff

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF), recognized as the third largest charity wine auction in the country by Wine Spectator Magazine for the second consecutive year, donated $2.7 million to 15 local charities serving children in need in Northwest Florida. The private check presentation ceremony was held at the WaterColor LakeHouse, marking one of the Foundation’s largest charitable distributions to date. For the first time in the Foundation’s history, DCWAF broke from tradition and raised an additional $48,000 to be donated to the fire victim relief initiatives in Napa and Sonoma Counties in response to those affected by the devastating wild fires that ravaged the area in the fall of 2017.

DCWAF has donated $18 million to non-profit organizations since its inception in 2005. This year’s results are a $48,000 increase over the $2.7 million donated last year.

“We are grateful to the many supporters of DCWAF that have made this day possible. What cannot be overlooked is the effort that each of our supported organizations has expended to help us raise the $2.7 million that was donated today,” said Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation President John Russell. “This is less of a gift and more of a sharing of proceeds from hard work by all, and it is an honor to play a role in their mission to help children.”


The 2018 recipients of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation include:

AMIkids Emerald Coast received $145,000 to fund a variety of behavioral modification programs, academic supplies, employee development, and student transportation.  

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast received $200,000 to allow 200 students from low income households to attend programming for one full year. The programming is designed to provide unique opportunities to learn, grow and to recognize youth for their achievements in an effort to steer youth clear of personal failure.

Children in Crisis received $200,000 to fund the facilitation of housing for abused, neglected and abandoned children. On-site housing provides stability, shelter, house parents, food, clothing and necessary items to help 100 children live a healthy lifestyle over the next year.

Children's Volunteer Health Network (CVHN) received $250,000 to fund and serve underinsured and uninsured children in need of dental care. These funds will allow for two hygienists on the Mobile Dental Clinic, and one full-time dentist and support staff at the CVHN Dental Clinic to assist with children in need of dental and medical care. In addition, they will be able to purchase new dental supplies and cover the maintenance and repairs of their equipment.

Emerald Coast Autism Center received $200,000 to fund scholarships for approximately 25 families unable to afford services at the new Northwest Florida State College campus facility. The new facility has allowed Emerald Coast Autism Center to increase their capacity levels, serving up to 130 students.

Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center received $280,000 to support mental health therapy, medical programs, and a case advocacy program that facilitates a child-friendly atmosphere offering counseling, family services, and coordination of investigations for child abuse and neglect.

Food for Thought Outreach received $150,000 to fund the organization’s Backpack Program which provides nutritious meals for school-aged children that are dependent upon free or reduced school meals in an effort to bridge the gap between school meals during weekends and holiday breaks.

Habitat for Humanity of Walton County received $192,000 to fully fund the building of two new homes for families with children in North Walton County as well as the purchase of two lots in Sana Rosa Beach.

Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties is DCWAF’s newest beneficiary and received $100,000 to fund "The Brain Health Initiative” geared toward early identification, assessment and treatment for students ages 12 to 21 who experience mental health or substance abuse issues.

Opportunity Place received $100,000 for immediate housing for homeless children and their families to ensure they are safe and secure.

Pathways for Change received $190,000 for comprehensive addiction treatment programs including men's residential treatment and operations for the family center. This year, DCWAF’s funding will also expand to include services for children of female veterans who live at the Clinton Cox Residence.

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast received $200,000 to fund a 10-bed, Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Shelter House of Northwest Florida received $200,000 to fund support groups, counseling, and advocacy for youth touched by domestic violence. Funding will also support their Youth Prevention Program, therapists for children, supplies such as school snacks and diapers, tutoring materials, community outings, and the Youth Community Action Team.

The Arc of the Emerald Coast received $145,000 to support Early Intervention and Family Education Program at the Early Intervention Center for children living with disabilities.

Youth Village received $100,000 to fund afterschool programming for low-income children along the Emerald Coast as well as their new capital campaign.

The dates for next year’s Destin Charity Wine Auction Weekend, the Foundation’s signature fundraising event, are set for April 26-28, 2019. Learn more at

About Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation
Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation connects wine enthusiasts to raise money to benefit children in need in Northwest Florida. Founded in 2005, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) has donated $18 million to Northwest Florida charities by hosting world class wine and culinary events. These funds have impacted the lives of over 100,000 youth, including those afflicted by health issues and abuse. Currently ranked number three, DCWAF has been recognized as one of the nation’s ‘Top 10 Charity Wine Auction in the U.S.’ by Wine Spectator Magazine for the last six consecutive years.


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