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Sandestin Wine Festival Raises Over $65,000 for Local Charities

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Michaela Trawick, intern for Fisher House of the Emerald Coast; Alan Myers, executive director of the Village of Baytowne Wharf; Carolyn Espinoza, Fisher House community ambassador; Troy Sjostrom, operations manager at the Village of Baytowne Wharf; Julie Stuckey, events manager for the Village of Baytowne Wharf; John Stephens, Master Sargeant and interim house staff; Gordy Fornell, Vice President of Fisher House board; Teresa Halverson, President of Fisher House board; Mia Hughes, administrative director of Fisher House; Shirley Pigott, past president of Fisher House board; Sheila Williams, community ambassador; Suzanne Baltar, 513 EWS 2nd Lieutenant and festival volunteer; Leleia Hsia, 513 EWS, 1st Lieutenant and festival volunteer captain.

The 31st Annual Sandestin Wine Festival, the most established and continuously running wine festival in the Florida Panhandle, announced recently that the organization donated $65,920 to two deserving local charities. The proceeds are from the four-day event held this past spring at the Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

 

Due to the success of this year’s festival and sold-out grand tasting events on Friday and Saturday, both the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Sandestin Foundation for Kids were presented with checks totaling $32,960 each.

 

“This event continues to bring a wide range of experiences for guests, wine experts from across the globe, and hard to find selections of wine. But we want the Sandestin Wine Festival’s focus to remain on the local community,” said Alan Meyers, the Village of Baytowne Wharf executive director.

 

“With the help of sponsorships, community partners, and the continued support of our festival from the locals and visitors alike, we were able increase our giving from last year. We hope to continue to ultimately benefit our local nonprofits in need.”

 

“We are blessed with community partners and volunteers with big hearts who believe like we do that family is the best medicine,” said Teresa Halverson, president of Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, Inc. “A team effort—combined with the popularity of this annual world-class event and the generosity of our supporters contributing their time and resources—helps us keep military families together when facing a medical crisis, furthering the legacy began by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher.”

 

Sara Becnel, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort executive director and co-trustee of the Sandestin Foundation for Kids, said, “Since our founding in 2011, our goal has been to make a meaningful and positive difference one child at a time.  I want to thank our community, the volunteers and everyone associated with the Sandestin Wine Festival for providing these proceeds to support the Sandestin Foundation for Kids.

 

“Through your generosity, the foundation will continue to make an immediate and direct impact in the lives of children and their families suffering from a variety of tragedies including health and economic issues throughout the Emerald Coast and abroad. We are grateful and humbled.”

 

The 32nd Annual Sandestin Wine Festival is set for April 12-15, 2018.

– Brooke Scholl
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