The swinging sounds of the 1940’s filled the air at the Radisson last Saturday for the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) 15th Annual Trivia Night. The theme was “In the Mood,” and more than 200 guests definitely were. The Branson High School jazz band reprised last year’s performance looking and sounding fabulous as they played tunes from the ‘40s, some from arrangements by Les Brown, Jr. who served as emcee for the evening along with JATC Life Member, Mary Jo Green
Les Brown, Emcee and Guest Conductor
The Radisson ballroom sparkled with period décor including wall posters and table signs reflecting the night’s theme. The band played while guests perused the more than 150 items offered in a silent auction, and continued through the dinner hour. Two “cigarette girls” walked the room, hawking raffle tickets and cd’s and giving out candy cigarettes and cigars to all purchasers. Their efforts resulted in sell-out for the raffle that saw Rae Endicott winning two round-trip tickets from Branson airport to any of their destinations, donated by Branson Airport. Craig Richard’s ticket was picked to win $1000 donated by JATC Sustaining Member, Doug Baker.
The centerpiece for this event was a lively trivia contest in which 28 eight-member teams competed to answer eighty questions. Halfway through the hard-fought competition was a break to allow for dessert and final bidding on auction items. This interlude was enlivened by a show-stopping set performed by Red Hot and Blue, offering their interpretation of four 40s tunes in period costumes, and showing all in attendance what a dance floor is for. Before the contest started again, Pat Lambert, local photographer and long-time JATC supporter, was awarded a Sustaining Membership.
Experience proved invaluable in the Trivia Challenge: all three top scoring teams were JATC trivia veterans. Wrong Side of the Bridge, under the leadership of Kelly Trimble, took the first prize. Each of his team members took home two CD’s and a history of 1940’s music donated by Les Brown, Jr., and they will have their team name engraved on the plaque that honors all the winners over the years. Smarter than We Look” headed by Richard Vahldick, took second and each received music-themed bottle openers and stoppers. Box of Rocks, headed by Dennis Newkirk, came in third after a “playoff” and members were gifted with bottles of orange-infused olive oil donated by Dove Olive Oil Company.
As JATC’s primary fund-raiser, this event surpassed expectations, garnering nearly $20,000 through table sales, raffle, silent auction and sponsorships. These funds are used to support JATC’s numerous community projects. Primary sponsors for the event included Doug Baker State Farm Insurance, Branson Airport, Combs Hotel Properties, and Ozark Mountain Ear, Nose and Throat. A complete list of all the many donors is available on the JATC website, jatcmo.org. Information about JATC’s many projects and other activities can also be found at the site.
JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi. NAJA has more than 14,500 active, associate and life members in 101 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. The organization’s motto is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”. The Taney County chapter, JATC, was established by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1997 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County. Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County. JATC can be reached on the website (see above), on Facebook and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: Branson Daily Independent, April 1, 2015; Branson Tri-Lakes New, April 11, 2015