Junior Auxiliary Trivia Challenge at 221 B Baker Street

Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) held its 18th Annual Trivia Night on April 14, and the clues abounded from the time guests entered the doors of 221 B Baker Street at 5:30 until the last guest left at 10pm.  The theme was “Sherlock Holmes: It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson” and over 200 guests joined in the fun at the Radisson Hotel Branson.

The Radisson ballroom was decorated with old time décor including old typewriters, Victorian hats, and Mrs. Hudson’s sitting room. Generous local and national businesses donated raffle prizes and auction items.  Englishman Alex Webster was the perfect choice to emcee a Sherlock themed Trivia event and Music Maestro Mike Cathcart supplied just the right touch with his background music.   The instrumental group Stringfield consisting of Victoria Johnson, Gail Morrissey, and Turner Collins treated us to the unique sound of the hammer dulcimer and the Celtic harp while guests enjoyed their dinner and bid on the more than 150 Silent Auction items.  Ashley Shockey, a 4-year Scholarcare student who is graduating in May from Kirksville, shared a testimonial video about what JA had meant to her.

Lucky winners of the raffle prizes were Bev Heckman ($500 cash); Greg Richardson (All Day Pontoon rental at State Park Marina + $100 State Park Marina Gift Card); Mary Padgett ($375 Price Chopper Basket + $125 Catering Gift Card+ $50 Floral Gift Card + $100 Price Chopper Gift Card); and Mark Elliott (Two-night stay at Chateau On the Lake + $100 Chateau Gift Card).  Cash and gift card prizes were donated by Doug Baker State Farm Insurance of Branson, Missouri, a JA Sustaining Member.

Over 150 Silent auction items were available for bidding.  Signature items were $800 certificate toward a new shower enclosure from Binswanger Glass; 4 One Day Park Hopper Passes at Walt Disney; 2 round-trip tickets on VIA Airlines or Silver Airways from Branson Airport; 2 Certificates for PADI Open Water Scuba Diving from White River Dive Co.; a 3 Liter Bottle of Phantom Red Blend Wine valued at $600 donated by a JA member and “Downtown Hollister Businesses” package valued at over $800.   Other valuable items included a one-night stay at Hall of Fame Hotel with 2 tickets to Dolly Parton’s Stampede; one-year Individual Membership to CoxHealth Fitness Center; Track Family Fun Park ride cards; Culver’s; MSU tent theater tickets, Sunshine Lanes, Discovery Center, Dickerson Park Zoo and other Springfield attractions; several lunch for a week packages around Branson; dinner at Cantina Laredo; Buckingham’s Prime Rib & Steakhouse dinner with 2 tickets to Tony Orlando at the Mansion Theater; Weber grill with all the accessories from Lowe’s; oil change for a year from Warehouse Tire of Hollister; Mt. Pleasant winery 101 course for 10; and many other restaurant, theater and attraction tickets.

In addition, Alex Webster, officiated a live auction for 3 grand prizes including a Green Egg provided by Branson Hot Tubs & Pools and Branson Bank; a 5-course dinner for 8 with wine pairings from Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar in Springfield; and a $500 Certificate from Holiday Planners, LLC with a 3-piece set of London Fog luggage from Belk.

JA members walked the room selling raffle tickets and their efforts resulted in raising almost $6000.  

Other generous donors included Lowe’s; Sir Speedy Printing; Central Bank of Branson; Lilley’s Landing; Ozark Mountain Ear, Nose & Throat; AAA Insurance agent, Mary-Ann Dailey; The Farmhouse Restaurant; Edward Jones-Mitch Holmes; Ozarks Family Vision Centre; Judge Tiffany Yarnell; and Friends of JA (Sonja and Randal Ferguson; Pam and Dwight Davis).  Many individuals and businesses sponsored tables including Doug Baker State Farm Insurance, Central Bank of Branson, Empire District, Bear Creek Farms, Binswanger Glass, Trimble & Associates, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, First Community Bank of Branson, and White River Valley Electric Company.


The main event for the evening was a lively trivia contest in which 28 eight-member teams competed to answer eighty questions from categories such as “A Good Egg”; “The Game’s Afoot”; “Under the Sea”; and “Have a Colorful Day”.

The Status Offenders” took the first prize and will have their team name engraved on the plaque that honors all the winners through the years.  OTC Table Rockers” took second place, and “Team Daniels” came in third. Each of the winning teams took home fun gift prizes related to the theme.  First place was a mug engraved with this Sherlock Holmes quote “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.

JATC’s 18th Annual Trivia Challenge was Co-chaired this year by Anna Morrissey and Paula Eighmy.  JA’s major fund-raiser earned over $22,000 through table sales, raffle tickets, auctions, and sponsorships, and supports JATC’s numerous community projects. 

A list of donors and more information about the event and JA’s projects, can be found on the Junior Auxiliary website JATCMO.ORG, their Facebook page (Junior Auxiliary of Taney County) or via email at jatcmo@gmail.com.

The funds raised through this event are 100% reinvested in our community, supporting a variety of projects aimed at addressing the needs of children and families. A few of the projects include Tender Critters, Santa’s Gift House, College Scholarships for seniors at all four Taney County public high schools; Prom Dresses for girls in need; Heart of the Arts supporting arts activities for clients of the Developmental Center; Learners Today-Leaders Tomorrow (LT2) to enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies at Mark Twain Elementary School; labor support for the Women’s Crisis Center along with kid care once a week so moms can attend counseling; School Supplies “refreshment” in January for elementary schools; and  Homework Helpers where children in extended-stay motels receive snacks, enrichment programs, reading and homework help.

JATC also raises money from other events such as Belk’s Charity Days, Schwan’s Cares, AmazonSmile, Mr. G’s Annual JATC Days, Paddle Mania, Harter House Community Cash, grants, and individual donations. 

JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it is a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County.  That’s the magic of JATC.  It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County.  Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County.

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 15,500 active, associate and life members in 95 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.

Published by: Branson Tri-Lakes News, Saturday, May 5, 2018; Branson Daily Independent, Sunday, May 13, 2018