Proceeds from Top Wine Fest Benefit Valerie's House

Valerie’s House Expansion into Naples Location Supported with First-Time Grant from Naples Children & Education Foundation


FORT MYERS, Fla. – March 23, 2017Valerie’s House, a new Lee County-based non-profit that launched in Collier County this month, has been recognized for its quick success and valuable work with children coping with grief with a grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the organization that manages proceeds from the hugely successful Naples Winter Wine Festival. Angela Melvin, founder and president of Valerie’s House, learned Valerie’s House is one of only a handful of new grant recipients and that Valerie’s House will receive a $50,000 grant from NCEF this month. Valerie’s House was singled out by the festival as a promising new children’s charity in Collier County.

“We’re humbled by this great honor and show of confidence from the Naples Children and Education Foundation,” Melvin said. “This award is going to help us build our grief support services in Collier County, where close to a third of the Valerie’s House families live and work.”

The NCEF awarded $12.5 million to more than 34 charities to benefit organizations and long-term initiatives for children in Collier County this year.  The Naples Winter Wine Festival, held annually in January, was once again named “Wine Spectator” magazine’s list of the highest-earning charity wine auctions in the country. 

Valerie’s House is serving 105 children and their caregivers from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry counties. The non-profit has three meeting locations: 1618 Avalon Place in downtown Fort Myers; Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd S. in Cape Coral; and in Naples at The Village School at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road. 

Interested families or mental health professionals who would like to volunteer can contact Valerie's House is fully supported through generous donations from the community.

The Naples Children & Education Foundation is committed to supporting charitable programs that improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County. Its primary fundraiser, the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is the largest global event of its kind, and has raised in excess of $161 million in its first 17 years for annual grants to over 40 beneficiary organizations and 7 strategic initiatives.