DCWA raises $1.2 million for children in need

Special to Gannett

DESTIN — Bids were high, wine was downed, and money was raised for children in need ... all from a distance. Now it's time to pop the champagne and toast to the community.

The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation's first virtual auction was a smashing success, and thanks to incredible generosity, $1.2 million was donated to their 16 partner children's charities despite all the challenges presented in 2020.

DCWAF presented $1.2 million to children in Northwest Florida.

A modified check presentation ceremony was presented and be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFLEWj7KaIw&feature=youtu.be.

2020 Funding Recipients

AMIkids Emerald Coast received $80,000 to fund a GED program for at-risk students between the ages of 16 and 24.

Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast received $83,000 to fund Pediatric and Family Birth Place equipment including Halo Bassinets, Vein Viewer, Bili Lights, and Glidescope.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast received $65,000 to allow 65 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.

More:Destin wine auction raises record-breaking $3.6 million

Children in Crisis Inc. received $80,000 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 children live a safe and healthy lifestyle during the next year.

Children’s Volunteer Health Network received $65,000 to fund and serve underinsured and uninsured children in need of dental care. These funds will allow for hygienists and staff on the Mobile Dental Clinic, the Healthcare Referral Network, and dental supplies for the Mobile Clinic.

Emerald Coast Autism Center received $70,000 to fund behavioral therapists and job coaches as they launch a new Transition to Work program.

More:FROM 2015: Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation donates $2.3 million to charity

Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center received $75,000 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 $85,000 to fund food and program supplies such as masks and hand sanitizing products so that children and families who are normally dependent upon free or reduced school meals are able to continue receiving nutritious meals during the pandemic.

Habitat for Humanity of Walton County received $75,000 to fund the building of a new home for families with children in North and South Walton County.

More:Wine Auction gets biggest donation in its history

Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties received $75,000 to fund the Brain Health Program geared toward early identification, assessment, and treatment for approximately 12 uninsured students ages 12 to 21 who experience mental health or substance abuse issues.

Opportunity Place Inc. received $80,000 to fund immediate housing for homeless children and their families to ensure they are safe and secure. 

Pathways for Change received $60,000 to fund a residential treatment program for men and their families actively seeking substance abuse treatment through an 18-month reentry initiative.

More: From 2015: ‘We are forever grateful’: Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation donates more than $2 million to charity

Shelter House of Northwest Florida received $72,000 to fund mental health play therapy, counseling, and advocacy for youth touched by domestic violence as well as childcare, and other program supplies.

The Arc of the Emerald Coast received $75,000 to fund the renovation of its facility warehouse into an after-school program center for children living with disabilities.

Westonwood Ranch received $75,000 for scholarships for children on the autism spectrum, including the Part-Time Job Skills Program as well as funding maintenance and repairs to the Educational Center and Aquaponics Farm.