PHOTOS/VIDEO Winter Wine festival auction raises $12 million for kids’ charities

Scenes from the 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival Auction on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. The auction raised about $12 million to benefit children in Collier County. David Albers/Staff

Photo by DAVID ALBERS // Buy this photo

Scenes from the 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival Auction on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. The auction raised about $12 million to benefit children in Collier County. David Albers/Staff

CLICK HERE to read our live recap of how the 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival auction went, hour by hour

2011 Wine Festival auction

Cars, sculpture and trips hot items

NAPLES _ The 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival uncorked a new decade by raising more money than anyone imagined.

Organizers had high hopes for this year’s festival after a few years of dealing with a shaky economy. The auction didn’t disappoint.

Offering exotics trips, luxury cars, rare jewelry and world-class wines, the auction, held Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort at Tiburon, raised $12 million for children’s charities in Collier County.

“To get $12 million is a milestone in a new decade. It’s much more than I expected,” said Cynthia Sherman, who co-chaired this year’s festival with her husband, Bruce, known as a financial guru.

“I’m over the moon,” she said.

The signs of success came early. The first 10 lots fetched more than twice what they did in 2010. Nine lots brought more than $300,000. One of them — a bronze sculpture by world-renowned Spanish artist Manolo Valdes — raised $1 million, the highest bid of the day.

Kids in need: What the wine festival auction lots were sold for

Other big-ticket items included a 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia Sports Coupe that went for $950,000 and a 10-day Alaskan cruise that brought in $480,000. Perfection — a lot of 100 wines rated at the top 100-points — sold for $400,000.

Kids in need: Naples couple tops auction bidding at $1 million for sculpture

The auction had raised a little more than $11.9 million, but this year’s co-chairs kicked in an extra $100,000 at the end, pushing the total to $12 million.

“That’s because my husband likes round numbers,” Cynthia Sherman explained. “I was going to be happy if we would have made $10 million. I would be happy to make anything.”

Saturday’s total was the fourth-highest amount raised at auction since the festival started in 2001. The record year came in 2007, when the event brought in $15.6 million. In 2008, $14 million was raised. Then a bad economy took its toll: 2009 brought in about $5 million. In 2010, the auction raised $8 million.

MORE COVERAGE OF THE 2011 NAPLES WINTER WINE FESTIVAL

Wine dinner of tropical splendor

A Naples Winter Wine Festival dinner

Perfectly Paired

A Winter Wine Festival Dinner

Study shows needs of local children

Wine Festival foundation makes hunger a priority

CLICK HERE to read our live recap of how the 2011 Naples Winter Wine Festival auction went, hour by hour

Kids in need: What the wine festival auction lots were sold for

Kids in need: Naples couple tops auction bidding at $1 million for sculpture

VIDEO/PHOTOS: A red 'Vette, a safari and Regis among wine auction lots

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Kids in need: Tutor Corps uses student tutors to help get other kids ready for college

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Kids in need: Child sexual abuse increasing in Collier, agencies step in to help

Kids in need: Naples wine festival a sign economy is recovering?

Kids in need: Bruce and Cynthia Sherman chair 2011 Naples charity wine festival

VIDEO/PHOTOS Study: Collier population of kids booming, their lives improving

From cozy to haute cuisine: The Lutgert home kitchen was built to satisfy family and vintner dinners

No longer locked inside: Dylan Chatham gets critical help from Naples Children and Education Foundation

Kids in need: Bay Colony home hosts Wine Festival dinner in 'tropical splendor'

Kids in need: Taste of Oregon comes to Port Royal for lavish Wine Festival dinner

Kids in need: Wine Festival sponsors win Edison college community service award

Multimedia:

Stories:

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Find archived videos, photos and stories about previous Naples Winter Wine Festivals in our special section »

__ Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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