Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation's Impact

One of the Nation’s Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions Exceeds Goals with a Stellar Staff!

Destin is home to one of the nation’s Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions, the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF). They have a simple, impactful mission “Connecting wine enthusiasts to raise money benefiting children in need in Northwest Florida”. And they have been increasingly successful, reaching $28 Million for Northwest Florida charities. In 2022, they supported sixteen charities with each charity providing for the care of local children. They press on steadfastly toward their vision to ‘Ensure that all children are thriving’. That’s a broad vision and what a worthy one. In a perfect world, DCWAF wouldn’t be needed, because every child would be safe, happy, healthy, and thriving. What makes this vision meaningful is that it means DCWAF won’t stop at a halfway point, adopting ‘Good enough’ as their rallying cry. Their mission ends when all children are thriving!

One of the reasons DCWAF is so significant is that they keep the number of selected recipients small and the donations big! Raising a record $4 million in 2022, no charity received less than six figures. Each partner reapplies every year and there are thorough quarterly reviews to ensure that recipients are good stewards of the funding provided. The requirements are simple. A charity will need to be local and will need to benefit children.

The partnerships have tended to be enduring with the DCWAF providing support to these non-profit organizations and with the partners supporting the DCWAF’s efforts with volunteers. In this delicate balance, DCWAF needs hundreds of volunteers supplied by their partners or it can’t sponsor its two blowout events year after year or develop other giving opportunities. And, the volunteer organizations need the DCWAF that supplies so much of their needs.

There are two ways a person can support their mission. The first way to help is to attend one of their major annual events. Of course, the Destin Charity Wine Auction happens first. This event happened at the end of April. After the auction concludes, DCWAF begins announcing the auction results and conducting check presentations. And, planning for the other major event begins.

In the fall, the Harvest Wine & Food Festival provides a second opportunity to support DCWAF, It draws over 1,500 participants over a single weekend. This venue is multifaceted, hosting crowds and holding smaller events under the umbrella of one large event.

Other ways to contribute include volunteering to assist at an event, direct donations, and sponsorships. Their Legacy Society is an enduring way to give to DCWAF.

All of this is powered by the four dedicated ladies on the staff of DCWAF: Karah Fridley-Young, President; Kate MacMillan, Director of Marketing and Communications; Mindy Holscher, Director of Events; and Brooklyn Bain, Office and Events Coordinator. This team of four is small, but mighty.

Their ability to communicate the mission of DCWAF in such a compelling way is laudable. So, too, is their ability to host spectacular events. The talent level of this team is extraordinary. As an example, Kate MacMillan left behind an extraordinary career in marketing and public relations. She had been involved in event marketing for coliseums and arenas. DCWAF provided her with a place to continue to stretch those skills. The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation is a unique organization that delivers focused help to local charities that benefit children in need.


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