Community service has been guiding Marilyn Alldregde’s steps for decades.
The Fairfax, Missouri, resident, who said she has a hard time sitting still, has combined her passion for volunteering and organization talent by running fundraisers.
One of the biggest events Alldredge runs is the Northwest Winefest in Mound City, Missouri. The event serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation, which provides free business consultations to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“I just like to see people be able to have a good time and serve the purpose of life,” Alldredge said. “We’re definitely raising funds for this so that we can continue our services.”
Now in its 10th year, the Winefest attracts at least a dozen wineries, more than 60 vendors and around 2,000 visitors annually, nearly double the number of Mound City’s residents. It’s an event that benefits the business community as much as Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation.
“I just think that in today’s society, we have to help each other and always make things a win-win situation because life’s too short, and money’s tight,” Alldredge said.
Alldredge founded Winefest in 2009 and has organized it ever since. Organization of the September event begins at the start of each year, keeping Alldredge busy for the better part of 12 months.
“I just love staying active,” Alldredge said. “I had back surgery three years ago, and for a couple of years, it was really rough trying to put this all together. But we made it. I don’t know how. Two years ago, I think I was just running on adrenaline because I was fine the whole day. I could hardly walk the next day.”
Thankfully, Alldredge said, her husband Bob is right by her side throughout all stages of planning and setting up.
“He’s my sidekick,” Alldredge said. “He does a lot of extra work. It takes a guy that will be willing to help get some of the facility or the area ready for that.”
The two enjoy visiting wineries in the area, which is how Alldredge first came up with the idea to start a Winefest in Mound City. Often, she said, regional wines are underrated, which was confirmed during a San Francisco trip that led the Alldredges on a tour through California vineyards.
“(Our guide) said, ‘I’m actually from Italy. And I want to tell you, I can actually feel that I have the authority to say that Missouri wines really right right up there with those in my country’,” Alldredge recounted. “And we were like, ‘Yay, we’re from Missouri!’”
The Northwest Winefest will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at North Griffith Park in Mound City. For more information, visit nwmef.org/winefest.