By Kathy L. Collins

The annual Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival will be held on Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13 at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts located at 1010 N. MacInnes Pl. in downtown Tampa. Proceeds from the event benefit the Brandon Foundation and the local non-profits that help keep families healthy, clothed and financially stable.

D. Shenell Reed, Event Organizer, said, “The Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival is one of the Brandon Foundation’s largest events and it raises funds for many deserving people in the greater Brandon area and throughout Tampa Bay. It is a sought after event that attracts more than 3,000 community members over two days.”

The Southern Charm Gala, an elegant, black tie optional cocktail event, is held on Friday, September 12 From 7-10 p.m. The cost to attend is $100 per person or $125 per person for the VIP section. The Gala features 40 plus wine suppliers and restaurants and live entertainment. A lavish silent auction will feature trips, high end wines and art. Some of the restaurants that will participate include California Pizza Kitchen, Revolution Ice Cream Company, Shrimp Boat Grille and Sonny’s BBQ.

The Grand Tasting will take place in the afternoon of Saturday, September 13 from 1-5 p.m. Tickets for this casual walkabout event are $75 each. Attendees will enjoy samples of food from some of Tampa Bay’s finest restaurants and wines from around the world along with entertainment.

Attendees at both events must be 21 years and older. Combination tickets for the events are available for $175 (VIP Gala and Grand Tasting) and $150 for General Admission to both.

The Brandon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded in 2003. For 10 years the Brandon Foundation has supported 50 local non-profits through initiatives and fundraisers such as the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival.

Reed said, “The Brandon Foundation has assisted families in need and local charities and has contributed more than $1.6 million.”

For more information on the event and a list of the local non-profits supported by the Brandon Foundation, visit


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.