Stars to align for Naples Winter Wine Festival, set for Jan. 25–27

NAPLES – Expect stars to align for the next world-renowned Naples Winter Wine Festival charity event, set for Jan. 25–27 in Naples.

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The theme for the 2013 festival is When Stars Align, a nod to the many stars involved in the festival including vintners, chefs, donors, sponsors, volunteers, and especially, the children who benefit from their generosity.

The festival, an intimate affair for 580 guests, has raised $107 million for underprivileged and at-risk children since 2001. A highlight is the live auction, which features rare wines, one-of-a-kind experiences and other treasures. Trustees of Naples Children & Education Foundation founded the festival, which is its major fundraiser, and host it annually.

Festival events span three days, starting with Meet the Kids Day, when guests witness charitable dollars at work and interact with children from NCEF-supported charities. Guests also enjoy wine tastings throughout the weekend and attend intimate dinners prepared by famous chefs at the private homes of NCEF trustees, with wines selected and poured by esteemed vintners. A culinary showcase and live auction of 65 lots takes place at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples – a founding sponsor of the festival. The festivities also comprise a post-auction wine-down party and brunch the next day.

Naples Winter Wine Festival 2013 co-chairs Terry and Bob Edwards. Photo by Roland Scarpa

Naples Winter Wine Festival 2013 co-chairs Terry and Bob Edwards. Photo by Roland Scarpa

Chairing the 2013 festival are NCEF trustees Bob and Terry Edwards. They became NCEF trustees in 2010 and have previously served on festival committees. Bob Edwards is the co-senior partner and senior portfolio manager of a Naples-based investment management group that is responsible for managing client assets in excess of $2 billion. Recognized by Registered Rep among America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors, he is a frequent industry speaker and has been ranked nationally for peer group performance of investment portfolios managed. Edwards, his partner and their team have also been ranked by Barron’s, Lipper, and Research magazine. A resident of Naples for more than 40 years, he is committed to the community, and he and his wife are patrons of the arts. Edwards serves on the boards of the Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art and the Naples Philharmonic and nationally on the boards of Sculpture magazine and the International Sculpture Center.

Terry Edwards devotes her time to area charitable causes, serving on the board of The Shelter for Abused Women & Children and NCEF’s grant committee. The Edwards have hosted numerous museum and charitable organizations in their home and have underwritten events at the Naples Philharmonic, Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art, von Liebig Art Center, Town Hall Lectures and around Florida at art museums in Tampa, Sarasota, Miami and Boca Raton.

Naples Winter Wine Festival proceeds have helped 150,000 children over 12 years through grants to children’s charities and collaborative funding of major projects including a pediatric dental center and early learning center. Wine Spectator has ranked the festival the most successful charity wine auction in the nation since 2004, and the Luxury Institute places it among the top 10 arts and entertainment events for wealthy Americans.

Festival ticket prices are $8,500 per couple and $20,000 for reserved seating at the same vintner dinner for two couples. For a schedule of 2013 festivities and information about Naples Winter Wine Festival, visit www.NaplesWineFestival.com or call 888-837-4919.

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