How Winefest Wins in the Community
Midwest Winefest is about more than just sampling over 300 wines, it’s about providing free and affordable healthcare to the members of our community who are uninsured and uncared for due primarily to financial restrictions.
“There are over 70,000 uninsured in Sedgwick county alone,” said Jodi Guillemette, CFRE of the Guadalupe Clinic, “and that’s just the ones we’ve got on the books. It doesn’t include the homeless or those otherwise unaccounted for.”
Midwest Winefest is the biggest fundraiser for the Guadalupe clinic, which provides free and affordable healthcare to the Wichita area.
“For just a suggested five dollar donation, patients receive a doctor’s visit, health screenings, x-rays, and transportation to the appointment. They’re getting the care that they really need,” Guillemette said.
About the Guadalupe Clinic
Guadalupe Clinic, which operates under the Guadalupe Health foundation, was established in 1985 to provide healthcare with respect and dignity for the “working poor” in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. A $5 donation is requested, but no one is turned away. Receiving no federal funding, the Guadalupe Clinic relies solely on fundraising events like Winefest and the generosity of those in the community. Oftentimes, people feel as though a small donation does not make a difference, but according to Guillemette, that’s not the case with the Guadalupe Clinic.
“If you’ve only got five or 10 dollars to give, that’s enough to provide care to one or two people who wouldn’t receive it otherwise. Every dollar counts,” she said.
The Guadalupe Clinic offers three locations in Wichita, at 940 S. St. Francis, 2825 S. Hillside and at 445 N. Market.
Celebrating its 22nd year, Winefest has raised more than $4.6 million for the Guadalupe Health Foundation and in turn, the Guadalupe Clinic.Midwest Winefest
“Winefest has grown tremendously over the years,” Guillemette said. “It began as a single wine tasting and dinner during the afternoon at the Hilton DoubleTree, then it turned into an evening event, and now it’s a three-evening celebration of food and wine. We have received great support from the community and we feel so blessed."
This year, Winefest will highlight 38 wine distributors with over 300 wines and more than 40 food vendors at its Grand Tasting at Century II on Saturday, April 22. Another 17 distributors will be present at the Old Town walkabout, which will take place on April 20. On April 21, the 2017 AIWF Midwest Winefest Celebrity Wine Dinners will take place at Hereford House, Terradyne Country Club and the Hyatt Regency, Wichita. Each of these gourmet meals includes outstanding wine pairings to compliment the menu.
“Our goal for Winefest is to increase attendance and ultimately to teach people about the Guadalupe Clinic. It’s been around for 33 years, and there are still people who have never heard of it,” Guillemette said.
If you’d like to help the Guadalupe Clinic, a great way to do so is simply to purchase a ticket to Winefest. Old Town walkabout tickets are priced at $55 and are available here. If you’d like to attend the Grand Tasting, you can purchase a ticket online for $66. You can also learn more about the AIFW Dinners, priced at $135 (Hereford House) and $150 (Hyatt Regency) on the Midwest Winefest website.
If you are unable to attend this year’s Winefest, you can still participate! Just visit the WOW Raffle online, a new feature this year, in which you can win a seven-night stay at any of a wide variety of locations worldwide! Tickets are priced at $100 and only 150 tickets will be sold, so purchase yours before they sell out!
The Guadalupe clinic also utilizes over 300 volunteers and it’s always looking for more. If you’re interested in volunteer opportunities at the Guadalupe Clinic (both medical and office positions are available), call (316) 264-8974.