Cheers to 10 Years

...A look back at where we started, the best is yet to come    


  When we look back at the last 9 years, we remember those that founded Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation. We are amazed to see how far we have come, and how our growth can only be attributed to those that have surrounded us with generosity, time, and continued dedication. Our mission is to connect wine enthusiasts to raise money to benefit children in need in Northwest Florida. Because of the relentless support of so many, we are able to further our mission and our charities are able to impact more lives, feed more hungry, medicate more sick, counsel more abused, house more homeless, tutor more students, and transform and empower more youth.  

 In 2006, we started with three beneficiaries, Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, Children in Crisis, and Sacred Heart Foundation. The funds distributed totaled $80,000. In 2014, twelve checks were issued for no less than $100,000 each totaling $2,035,000 for our charities. For our 10th year, we are proud to say we are able to support fourteen charities including AMIkids Emerald Coast,  Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, Children in Crisis, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, Emerald Coast, Autism Center, Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, Food For Thought, Habitiat for Humanity of Walton County, Horizons of Okaloosa County, Opportunity Inc., Pathways for Change, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, Shelter House of Northwest Florida, and Youth Village. Each charity has a significant mission and without necessary funding, so many children and families would go without the help and care they so desperately need. Between the Health Care Referrals, Mobile Dental Clinic appointments, and the CVHN Dental Clinic procedures, the cost of all services rendered since inception of the Children’s Volunteer Health Network programs totals $3,887,662. Because of these programs, Uninsured or underinsured families have been able to get necessary health care for their children Food for thought has provided 55,000 meals who would have skipped those meals otherwise. You can help supplement these meals for one child for an entire year for $125, or $2.92 a day, that’s less than your morning coffee!

At our Happy Hour event at Ruth's Chris Sarah Yelverton of Opportunity Inc. spoke to about 100 guests about poverty and homelessness and how it affects children and their future. “We are just trying to get these children to the same starting line as everyone else.” She said. The fact of the matter is not all of our youth get to start at the same starting line in the race. Not all of them have the same opportunities to succeed. Some of them are held back by developmental delays or medical illness. Some are held back by poverty or lack of structured family environments. Some are neglected and abused. Some are hungry and homeless. When we look back at who we are and why we started Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, we think about the staring line. We think about the amount of children that are not lined up with the rest when the gun goes off and the race begins.  We have fourteen charities that are the feet on the street, impacting the lives of these children and their families forever. We are reminded that if we can raise enough to reach one more child, we are making a world of difference to that one child. Why not strive to raise enough to reach 1,000 more children, or 100,000 more children? 

In April 2015, we celebrate 10 years. With your help, we have been able to fund playgrounds, and mobile medical clinics. We have been able to fund counseling for those who cannot afford it, and new shelters for those that have none. In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t have imagined we would be where we are today. We extend our gratitude to our generous sponsors, trustees, and board members for their contributions and their time. We thank our patron dinner hosts who open their doors year after year, our talented chefs, and our vintners who travel from afar. We thank all of our volunteers and local restaurants who have supported our many events. We continue to grow, and set the bar higher and higher for ourselves.  
To learn more about how you can be a part of our mission; go to and click on Become a Sponsor for your desired level. and purchase tickets to our upcoming Tasting of Champions, or look into our 10th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction Weekend- where there will be an abundance of desirable rare wines, one of a kind trips and dinners, as well as winery tours for you to bid on!  
Or contact us at [email protected] to donate  
Cheers to 10 years!  

By: Jordan Lacenski 

Published on Friday, November 21, 2014