Making a difference for Collier County children

NCEF festivalThe 2013 Naples Winter Wine Festival on Jan. 25 and 26, a fundraiser for the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), began with an event to showcase the difference the program has made in the lives of children in Collier County. The University of Florida College of Dentistry was invited to highlight the patients served at the University of Florida’s NCEF Pediatric Dental Center and was made possible by a gift of $5.5 million from the NCEF.

The dental center opened in 2008 and, since then, has delivered more than 46,000 patient visits and also operates as a Pediatric Dental Residency Program for the University of Florida.

The NCEF was established in 2001 to make a difference for children in Collier County and the Naples Winter Wine Festival was created to meet the foundation’s mission statement. Since it’s inception, the festival has raised more than $107 million which has been directed to more than 35 non-profit agencies that serve the needs of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County.

Photo: The dental center’s director, Dr. Lauren Governale, right, and Dr. Derrill Heiland, the orthodontic course director, were on hand to represent the dental program for interested attendees during the 2013 Naples Winter Wine Festival which, the next day, raised $8.5 million in five hours.