SWFL Wine & Food Fest Preview Party

On Thursday, Feb. 9, donors, trustees and sponsors of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest gathered at the Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center in Bonita Springs for a preview party in anticipation of uncorking the power of giving at the upcoming 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest event. Hosted by the organization’s three beneficiaries, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College, the evening included a reception and dinner featuring an assortment of fine wines.

Auctioneer Scott Robertson and NBC-2 anchor Kellie Burns presented highlights of the 40 auction lots featuring exclusive getaways, luxurious wine and culinary offerings and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will be available for bid at the Live Auction. In addition, this year’s Child Artists, Leo and Lola Grabinski, made a special appearance, and Kellie Burns made a special plea in support of this year’s fund-a-cause initiative for pediatric mental and behavioral health care services at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

The 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s Chef Vintner Dinner will take place on Friday, Feb. 24, followed by The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

Click here to see the full article in Gulfshore Life.

Philbrook Wine Experience 2016

Scott Robertson was the auctioneer for this great event! Click here for video coverage and see Scott’s cameo at 1:23!

The biennial Philbrook Wine Experience brings together over 40 wineries with over 1500 wine enthusiasts to raise money for Philbrook educational programs and Museum operations. The 2016 Philbrook Wine Experience weekend featuring a wine tasting, trade tasting, and dinner & auction raised over $3 million making it one of the largest charity wine events in the nation.

Upcoming fundraisers; Oct. 5, 2016

· Cape Coral Daily Breeze ·  Click here for full article 

* Preview Party for ACT

The Arts for ACT “The Disco Ball” Gala & Fine Art Auction will be presented by Bill Smith Appliances and Electronics, onSaturday, Oct. 29, at the Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe Street in Fort Myers, from 5 until 10 p.m.

The lineup at this year’s gala includes artwork from featured artist Sherry Rohl, as well as showcased artists, including Jan Ellen Atkielski, David Belling and Christine Reichow.

The organizers of this year’s Arts for ACT “The Disco Ball” Gala & Fine Art Auction encourage participants to don their finest polyester and platform shoes as the party will feature a live performance by “The Original Studio 54 Band,” incredible art from local and international award-winning artists; with auctioneer Scott Robertson conducting the live auction. There will be cocktail drinks provided by the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery, extraordinary food, and mobile bidding for the silent auction and raffle, with prizes valued at over $20,000.

For more information visit: or call (239) 939-2553.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Raises $4.6 Million

· by Amy Liefberfarb · 

DSC_0412Drink wine created from an award winning region, enjoy food made by famous chefs, and…raise money for children in need.

Read more

Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction Grows, Raising Record-Breaking $4.6 Million

This article first appeared on September 6, 2016 on

SONOMA, Calif.–Under a tent that transported auction guests from Sonoma to Marrakesh, the 2016 Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction held on Sunday, September 4 at Chateau St. Jean Winery, sponsored by Visa Signature® and TricorBraun WinePak, exceeded the earnings of prior years with proceeds that totaled more than $4,600,000 at the annual fundraising finale of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.


Bidders support the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction highest grossing lot of the day, the Fund the Future Lot which supports the Sonoma County wine industry’s childhood literacy initiative. Photo by George Rose

Vintners and winegrowers from across Sonoma County hosted 650 guests who raised their paddles high to support the event that will benefit a number of local charities, and continue the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction focus upon the Fund the Future initiative, a multi-year commitment to improve childhood reading levels across Sonoma County.

Encouraged by Auctioneer Scott Robertson, bidders raised paddles throughout the afternoon which began with ambient belly dancers and a live camel, to win lots that ranged from extremely-limited wines, to exclusive trips and experiences.

The top selling lot of the day, the Two Nights of Hollywood Glamour with a trip to the VIP Golden Globes Party and a Private Film Screening was contributed by Jean-Charles Boisset and Buena Vista Winery and sold for $220,000.

The highest grossing lot of the day, the Fund the Future Lot which supports the Sonoma County wine industry’s childhood literacy initiative, raised over $2,700,000. Dozens of children from the Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley took the stage along with members of Transcendence Theatre Company, inspiring the audience as they performed the moving hit song “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent.”

“Fund the Future is focused upon children’s literacy and it’s so important for the wine industry to give back,” said Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne Winery, a Sonoma County native, father of three and Sonoma Wine Country Weekend 2016 Co-Chair. “This is so important for us as a community, as 54% of the kids in Sonoma County are reading below grade level, which is not sustainable or acceptable. We need kids to learn to read, so that they can read to learn. If kids can read, they will succeed.”

The top wine-only lot which sold for $65,000 was a collection of 153 magnums of wine, which celebrated the Ladies of Magnum Force, women of the Sonoma wine world that have raised more than $500,000 over the last 13 years.


Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction Reaps Record $4.6 Million

Scott on stage holding child - source Alvin Jornada the press democrat

Scott Robertsonon stage holding child
Source Alvin Jornada the press democrat

This article was originally written by Peg Melnik and published in The Press Democrat on September 4, 2016.

The theme, “Sonoma to Marrakesh,” featuring a live camel weighing more than a ton and a host of belly dancers, set the stage for Sunday’s Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Kenwood’s Chateau St. Jean that raised a record $4.6 million.

The top group lot of the day among the 650 paddle-holders was “Fund the Future” for children’s literacy at $2.7 million, up from last year’s $1.9 million.

Dan Kosta, the auction’s honorary chairman, was the first to donate $250,000 on behalf of the entire team at Sebastopol’s Kosta Browne Winery, as well as friends and supporters of the winery.

“My children are reading at grade level or above, but that’s the minority in this county,” Kosta said. “A total of 53 percent of third graders are reading below grade level.”

Others contributing $250,000 included Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson of Santa Rosa’s Benovia Winery, the Gallo Family in honor of the late Margrit Mondavi and the Jackson Banke Family of Jackson Family Wines.

Paddle-holders contributed at a range of price points, from $250,000 down to $500, and the bidding began with a sentimental touch. As two dozen kids took the stage wearing bright yellow shirts and holding black-and-white signs with “I read every day” and “I like to read to my dog” members of the Transcendence Theater sang “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent.”

When Gina Gallo later took the microphone to make her contribution, she surprised the crowd when she made a tearful request.


The Founders Fund raises over $300,000 for college scholarships

This article was written by Sue Huff and originally published on April 7, 2016 on

The Founders FundThe Founders Fund raised over $300,000 at the Ed Brennan Memorial Golf Tournament and Banquet which was held at The Club Pelican Bay on April 4. The event had over 260 guests in attendance.

The Founders Fund, which was founded in 1991, is a non-profit charitable organization which provides financial assistance to students from Collier County in their pursuit of a higher education. With the success of the event, more Collier County students will be receiving scholarships this coming year.

The day-long event includes golf, lunch, cocktail hour, dinner, raffle, plus silent and live auctions. Banquet attendees were treated to a gourmet meal prepared by Chef Joe of The Club Pelican Bay.

Auctioneer Scott Robertson got the crowd energized to bid on some incredible vacations. Bringing in the top bid of $10,000 was a Mediterranean Cruise on the Holland America’s cruise ship the Konigsdam, which was donated by Preferred Travel of Naples.


Scott Robertson Auctioneers Help Raise $2.5M at 2016 SWFL Wine & Food Fest

2016 SWFL Wine and Food Fest News-Press article

Click to download this News-Press artilce

SWFL Wine & Food Fest raises $2.5 million for Golisano Children’s Hospital

2016 SWFL Wine & Food Fest article - Naples Daily News

Click to download this Naples Daily News article

Drink to Children’s Health: Epic Wine and Food Fest Set for February

Don’t miss the auction lot from AC/DC’s bassist — it rocks!
Fort Myers Local Expert     FEBRUARY 2, 2016

Since the inaugural event in Fort Myers seven years ago, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has grown to be one of the top rated wine auctions in the country, generating 12.8 million dollars for pediatric healthcare.

One of the most anticipated and exciting events every February for food and wine lovers, the two-day festival opens with exclusive vintner dinners in private homes on the 26th. Individual hosts pick entertaining themes while award-winning chefs team up with a participating winery to provide an exquisite night out.

The big event takes place the next day, February 27, at the beautiful Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. Local chefs and restaurants bring their A-game, creating stunning small bites for the poolside Grand Tasting.

Winemakers and winery owners are also on hand, pouring their popular blends and varietals; a fantastic opportunity to discover new wines and learn more about the ones you love, from the men and women who make it.

The chic setting overlooks a man-made beach, and live music accompanies your progression from table to table full of delectable dishes and refreshing beverages.

Once attendees have been satiated with food, wine and ambiance, the party moves inside for a rousing auction full of exotic trips, rare wine lots and unique culinary experiences.

The live auction lots generate great excitement and lots of money — Photo courtesy of Southwest Florida Food & Wine Fest


The energy at the live auction is immeasurable, with friends combining assets, others running up the tab on the over-the-top items up for grabs. The sport of it keeps people coming back year after year and is why bidders are enthusiastic about raising their paddles, spending tens of thousands of dollars for dream vacations, exclusive dining soirees and rare wines.

Some of the notable items on the 2016 auction lot include an adventurous safari in Kenya and Tanzania, and a river boat cruise down the Danube or the Seine in Europe or one on the Mekong in Vietnam. For the sportsmen, bid on tickets to the Ryder Cup, skiing in Vail or a sport fishing charter in Costa Rica.

Wine related packages include a collection of bottles that have been awarded the coveted 100-point rating from famed wine critic Robert Parker. There are also several unique wine country travel packages on the auction block, making the possibilities nearly endless to score a big prize while helping improve the health of kids.

100% of the proceeds go to Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, an organization that gives generously to the Golisano Children’s Hospital and provides scholarships and pediatric education programs at Fort Myers area colleges and universities.

Tickets for the 2016 Grand Tasting and auction are $750 a person. The price goes up to $1500 to participate in the private vintner’s dinners.

Direct Link to Article:

Benefit: Nonprofits need auction professionals for fundraising

Scott Robertson and Kathy Kingston present at National Auctioneers Association Conference 2015 - Image courtesy of the National Auctioneers Association

Image courtesy of the National Auctioneers Association
This article was originally written by James Myers and published on Sept 4, 2015 at and republished on 10/2/15 at

Nonprofits think they will make more by spending less (or none) on an auction professional. That’s wrong.

Most nonprofit organizations are in a constant struggle to stay within their budgets as they focus on their cause.

Fundraising events are paramount to the success of most a charity organizations, but is it fiscally responsible to hire someone to organize and manage fundraisers? When partnered with an experienced Benefit Auctioneer, the answer is a definite “yes.”

Scott Robertson, CAI, BAS, has experience with organizations that aren’t sure if they should bring in an auction professional for their event. If he feels Scott Robertson Auctioneers are a good fit, he’ll bring up his company’s track record as proof that it is advantageous to bring in an auction professional.

“The primary reason I see charity auctions fail to achieve expectations is they simply refuse to get out of their own way,” Robertson said. “They focus on the costs of hosting the event instead of the return on investment. Also, they are often more concerned with throwing a party than hosting a fundraising event.”

Kathy Kingston - photo courtesy of Myers Jackson Auctioneer

Kathy Kingston – courtesy of Myers Jackson Auctioneer

Kathy Kingston, BAS, is also a Benefit Auction Specialist and has actually written the book on the subject, “A Higher Bid: How to Transform Special Event Fundraising with Strategic Auctions.” She knows skilled Benefit Auctioneers add value, but can back it up with facts – an NAA-sponsored study published a few years ago reveals that Auctioneers with the BAS designation raise about twice as much money for their clients compared to the auction outcomes where the BAS credential was absent.

“It’s imperative that professional benefit auctioneers not only sell items,” Kingston said, “but they have to sell the mission of the organization.”

Benefit Auctioneers often begin working a benefit auction months before the night of the event. If it’s done right, their work continues to pay off long after the auction event has ended.

“Asking ‘how can I raise money?’ is the wrong question,” Kingston said. “How can we have more fun? How can we create excitement? How can we create a dynamic culture of giving that engages your guest at your auction and beyond?”


Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction breaks records with $4.5 million haul

Sonoma Wine County Weekend - Harvest Auction 2015 - Scott Robertson Auctioneers

This article was written by Peg Melnik and originally published in The Press Democrat on September 6, 2015.

A recreation of the 1915 World’s Fair — complete with a Model T Ford and a barbershop quartet — created a colorful backdrop for a record-breaking afternoon of bidding at Sunday’s Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction.

The spiraling bids climbed to $4.5 million, up from last year’s $4 million.

About 650 people gathered under the magnolia trees at Kenwood’s Chateau St. Jean winery for an afternoon that looked like a step back in time. There were plenty of costumed flappers and Charlie Chaplin lookalikes to highlight the theme “From Sonoma to the World’s Fair.”

Generosity was in plentiful supply, and fundraising under the white tent gained momentum throughout the day with an outpouring of six-digit contributions by the end.

Mary Dewane, Joe Anderson, Squire Fridell, Scott Robertson, Jean-Charles Boisset - Sonoma Wine Country Weekend 2015

Mary Dewane, Joe Anderson, Squire Fridell, Scott Robertson, and Jean-Charles Boisset. Cr: Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

The most spirited — and sentimental — lot was the “Fund the Future” offering, benefiting literacy in Sonoma County. A group of 178 bidders pooled their efforts to “buy” the lot — in reality, making a donation — for $1.9 million. This year’s take broke last year’s $1.7 million record for the same cause.

To introduce the literacy campaign to bidders, a group of children gathered on the stage before a video played.

On the screen, Mary Dewane, co-vintner of Santa Rosa’s Benovia and one of the auction chairs, told viewers, “Our children are our future, and we’ll be a stronger, better and more prosperous county if we educate our children.”

Dewane, her husband Joe Anderson, and the family and board members of Benovia contributed a total of $385,000 to the lot.