County lucky to have MIM, Allegro Alliance |

County lucky to have MIM, Allegro Alliance

Nevada County is fortunate to have Music in the Mountains sponsor world-class music throughout the year. It is a big effort with an $800,000 budget. Thanks to patrons, the Allegro Alliance volunteer support team and ticket sales to music events, MIM is in its 23rd season of bringing top-notch music to the county.

Besides great music, there is the opportunity to enjoy a number of public fund-raising events that benefit MIM. Allegro Alliance is the volunteer support group responsible for hospitality and benefit events for MIM and has over 350 members and its own council. While everyone involved is key to the success of any fund-raising event, I am always amazed at how many folks in LWW are consistently volunteering their time to benefit nonprofits, including Music in the Mountains. Doris Felts is this year’s Allegro Alliance president and sits on the MIM board of directors, and Jacque Cowgill is VP-Benefit Events. Both women live in LWW. Other LWW residents on the Council include Connie Ferrao, secretary; and Glenn Orren, financial adviser.

Many of you attended the Foothills Celebration in downtown Grass Valley on March 5.

This was the first fund-raiser of the year for MIM and everyone had a good time sampling food and wine and mingling with friends. This particular fund-raiser was co-sponsored by MIM and the Downtown Grass Valley Association and raised about $7,000 for MIM.

The Swing Along Golf Tournament Fundraiser on May 2 netted over $17,000 for MIM. With a significant increase in golfers this year, participants enjoyed lunch, golf at the Lake Wildwood Golf Club, a dinner banquet and lots of prizes. Chaired by LWW resident Kathy Tuttle, other committee members from LWW included Ed Robinson, Joyce Chilberto, Tom Hall, Dave Galitello, Lucy Gratteau, Gerry and Stan Cosby, Ron Avanzino, Barbara Heffner, Madelyn DiMugno, Larry Minnich, Duane Mayfield and Kathleen Casey. According to Kathy, “they all did a terrific job and contributed to us far exceeding our goal.”

The next fund-raising event will be the Sierra Brewfest on Aug. 21 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Participants will enjoy unlimited microbrew tastings, multiethnic foods and rhythm and blues music in a great outdoor setting. Still in the planning stages, the event expects to raise about $18,000 for MIM. LWW residents already helping out include Katheryn Copeland, Doris Felts and Glenn Orren.

Another great event sponsored by MIM is the Designs for Living Home Tour the weekend of Sept. 25 and 26. This event is a self-guided tour of historic and contemporary Gold Country architecture and hopes to raise $18,000 for MIM. While the event is still in the planning stages, I understand that each house on tour needs to staff enough volunteers to handle two shifts a day. For each house on tour, that equates to two house captains, 40 docents and eight men to help with parking. As in the past, many, if not most, of the Allegro Alliance volunteers will be from LWW. Dee Dee Ruxton of LWW is on the steering committee and is in charge of refreshments for the event.

In addition to benefit events, Allegro Alliance volunteers handle hospitality events, ushering, parking, office work, and assist with production at festivals, including a boutique of MIM logo merchandise. There is even a volunteer group known as the Goodie Patrol; Dee Dee Ruxton heads up this group, which makes sure that all of the guest artists and orchestra members have great food and snacks whenever there is a need. Knowing Dee Dee, this is not chips and dip but gourmet fare to keep ’em coming back for more.

Thanks to all of the Allegro Alliance volunteers for their commitment and dedication. Not only do they provide a diverse selection of fund-raising events that are open to the public, but they are also helping to bring music to the mountains.


Got a tip about someone in LWW? Contact Shirl Mendonca at 432-3787 or

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