Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation hands out $2.68 million to charities


ABRAHAM GALVAN @destinlogabe

WATERCOLOR — The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation on Tuesday presented 15 local charities with a record $2.68 million in proceeds from its annual Destin Charity Wine Auction.

The recipients received large, ceremonial checks onstage during the 12th annual Destin Charity Auction Foundation Check Presentation Ceremony at Watercolor LakeHouse.

Since 2005, DCWAF has donated more than $13 million to Northwest Florida children’s charities to help more than 70,000 kids.

“These charities have worked with us all year round and are true partners,” said John Russell, the foundation’s president. “We are also proud how they work and support each other in helping children in our community.”

With its $225,000 donation, Children in Crisis will be able to better help abused, neglected and abandoned children.

“This is really the highlight of our year,” said Ken Hair, the CEO of Children in Crisis. “With this money we be will able to feed, clothe and care for children that are living in our houses.”

Hair said his organization’s daily operations wouldn’t be be possible without DCAF.

“They are difference makers,” he said.

Food for Thought Outreach, which helps feed students in Okaloosa and Walton counties, received $240,000.

“DCWAF has helped us grow and expand our services in the last five years,” said Tiffanie Nelson, Food for Thought’s founder. “This money will go towards our backpack program.”

The money will help buy 2,500 food items to fill backpacks that are distributed to local schools every week during the school year.

“This is the only source of funds that we know we will get every year and help base our foundation,” she said.

Other recipients include:

AMIkids Emerald Coast, $120,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, $200,000

Children’s Volunteer Health Network, $225,000

Emerald Coast Autism Center, $200,000

Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, $225,000

Habitat for Humanity of Walton County, $150,000

Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton County, $150,000

Opportunity Place, $85,000

Pathways for Change, $170,000

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, $225,000

Shelter House of Northwest Florida, $170,000

The Arc of the Emerald Coast, $200,000

Youth Village, $100,000

For more information on the DCWAF, visit