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Southern Delaware food festival brings in $25K


Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival

Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival raised $25K for education programs in Sussex County. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CREATIVE COASTAL CONNECTIONS CORPS

LEWES – The 8th Annual Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival has raised $23,000 for Headstart/Early Headstart, an initiative of Children & Families First (CFF), and $2,000 for True Blue Jazz, a local education non-profit.

The festival took place at Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes, and featured food from local restaurants, a wide 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,” Laura Bartus, communications & engagement manager of CFF, said. “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 included a $2,000 donation to True Blue Jazz, a non-profit founded by Peggy Raley and Eddie Sherman that brings 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,” Stacy LaMotta said. “This non-profit 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 and board member of Creative Coastal Connections Corp said, “It is truly gratifying to be able to help Children and Families First Headstart program with this year’s donation from the event.  As one of many deserving charities considered by the Board, the Headstart 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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