Margie's Haven House held its first Mystery Masquerade Ball Fundraiser at the Heber Springs Community Center Saturday evening. A small crowd showed up for the event, which provided a night of fun and festivity to raise funds in the fight against domestic violence.
"Margie's has been around since 1989," said Margie's Board President Leigh Neuwirth at the start of the event. "It is the only domestic violence shelter in Cleburne County. We take care of lots of victims throughout the year. The shelter is open 365 days a year and is staffed by our advocates. We are funded primarily by grants. As you probably know, grants are kind of going by the wayside or getting harder to come by, so that's why we're doing the ball and other fundraisers."
The night included a scavenger hunt, dancing, food, costume contest, raffle, and, most entertaining, a murder mystery. At one point in the evening, a recorded scream played over the sound system, indicating the murder had taken place and the suspects, played by volunteer actors in character costume, visited each table where they were questioned by guests. They were then asked to guess which suspect was the murderer. In the end, it was the Inspector, played by Jacob Speak , that was determined to be the killer.
Chris and Kiersten Gracey pulled out the big win for best costumes of the night, with Dan and Jenna Malone coming in second and Jaci Burroughs pulling a respectable third. Christopher Smith and Rebecca Prince came out winners after finding the golden egg in the scavenger hunt.
The public showed strong support for Margie's that evening and while there was a noticeable absence of many elected officials and community leaders, some did show up to support this invaluable service for the community. They included Councilman Louis Short, Judge Lance Wright, Councilwoman Rebecca Prince, County Judge Jerry Holmes, and Sheriff Chris Brown. The Heber Springs Police Department also had a few officers in attendance who joined in on the costume fun.
In the end, Margie's was able to clear over $300 for the shelter. While they were hoping to have raised more, they were happy with the event as a first effort and are already looking towards next year's event.
"It went well for our first year," said Lead Victim Advocate Velder Shepperson. "We're hoping next year will be even better and we'll see everyone that wasn't able to make it to this year's event."
For more information on Margie's Haven House, give them a call at 501-362-6757.