Wine, food and music festival raises $25,000 for local nonprofits

todayNovember 26, 2023 2

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Creative Coastal Connections Corp, the founding organization for the Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival, announced $23,000, the bulk of the funds raised from this year’s event, went to Head Start/Early Head Start, an initiative of Children & Families First. A major success, this year’s festival raised $25,000 for local Sussex County charities.

The 8th annual festival took place Sept. 16 at Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes, and featured amazing food from local restaurants, an extensive variety of wines, cocktails and craft beers, and music from local performers. Festival attendees also had the opportunity to test their wine expertise at the blind wine tasting, try the wine pull and participate in the silent auction.

“Ninety percent of a child’s brain development occurs before they enter kindergarten,” said Laura Bartus, CFF communications and engagement manager. “That means even prior to delays caused by the pandemic, low-income, high-needs children were at a significant disadvantage. This funding means much more than just support for our programs. I could tell you how these programs ensure more children are reading at grade level, earn high school diplomas and achieve higher education goals; or that they reduce rates of incarceration, substance abuse and public assistance long-term. While all that is true, this is really about children and their families. This funding ensures every classroom gets the support they need, including new books and educational toys. It also means behavioral and mental health support, which is critical as we help kiddos and families come out of the pandemic.”

The pre-festival wine experience dinner held Sept.15 netted a $2,000 donation for True Blue Jazz, a nonprofit founded by Peggy Raley and Eddie Sherman to bring educational programs that preserve and perpetuate this American art form. These funds will support the ongoing youth jazz initiative to provide scholarships for graduating seniors, instrument donations to kids in need, masterclass/clinics with touring music professionals and multiple performance opportunities for students year-round.

“I am honored to serve as executive director of Creative Coastal Connections Corp,” said Stacy LaMotta. “This nonprofit organization has donated over $250,000 to meaningful local charities since it was founded eight years ago. I am proud that the popularity, tremendous volunteer effort and support for the Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival has made this possible.”

Ray Kutz of Cuvee Ray/Cuvee Ray Wine Lovers Academy, a board member of Creative Coastal Connections Corp, said, “It is truly gratifying to be able to help the Children and Families First Head Start program with this year’s donation from the event. As one of many deserving charities considered by the board, the Head Start initiative stood out for the wonderful work they do to create positive childhood experiences and brighter futures for those in need. We are so thankful to everyone who helped make this year’s festival a great success.”


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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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