Junior Auxiliary Trivia Challenge “Down by the Sea”

Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) held its 19th Annual Trivia Night on April 6, and guests had a swimmingly good time.  The theme was “Down by the Sea” and over 230 guests joined in the fun at the Radisson Hotel Branson.

 The Radisson ballroom was decorated in blues and greens to represent the sea with shells and candle accessories. Generous local and national businesses, as well as individuals, donated raffle prizes and auction items.  Alex Webster was our emcee, and Music Maestro Mike Cathcart supplied just the right touch with his background music.   To kick off National Junior Auxiliaries Week, Life Members present at the event were honored for their continued commitment to enhancing the lives of children in our community. Becky Vermeire from the Crisis Center of Taney County spoke about JATC’s involvement there and encouraged guests to buy 50/50 tickets.  JATC’s portion of the 50/50 tickets is designated for our Crisis Center Playground Project.

 JATC members walked the room selling raffle tickets and their efforts resulted in raising almost $5000.   Lucky winners of the raffle prizes were Barb Cohn ($500 cash); Bobby McTaggart (Four Hour Rental of an 8-Passenger Ski Boat at State Park Marina + $100 State Park Marina Gift Card); Joe Morrissey ($150 Price Chopper Basket + $100 Catering Certificate + $150 Price Chopper Gift Card); and Paul Norman ($500 Holiday Planners Travel Voucher, 3-piece Spinner Samsonite Luggage Set from Belk, a $50 Belk Gift Card, and $100 Travel Expenses).  Cash and gift card prizes were donated by Doug Baker State Farm Insurance of Branson, Missouri, a JATC Sustaining Member.

 Over 130 Silent auction items were available for bidding.  Signature items were an $800 certificate toward a new shower enclosure from Binswanger Glass; 4 Production Passes for taping of “Wheel of Fortune” at Sony Pictures in California,  along with an autographed photo of Pat Sajak and Vanna White and other memorabilia; 2 round-trip tickets on Frontier Airlines from Branson Airport; a St. Louis Vacation Package worth $1100; an Afternoon Sail on the Lucille Marie at Lake Stockton, MO donated by Patti and Sandy Sanders; and a $550 package donated by Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.  Other valuable items included a one-night stay at the Radisson Hotel; one-year Individual Membership to CoxHealth Fitness Center; Track Family Fun Park ride cards; Culver’s; Sunshine Lanes, Discovery Center, Dickerson Park Zoo and other Springfield attractions; several lunch for a week packages around Branson; dinner at Cantina Laredo; 2 tickets to Johnny Mathis at the Mansion Theater; Weber grill with all the accessories from Lowe’s; oil change for a year from Warehouse Tire of Hollister; Chick-fil-A Catering package; and many other restaurant, theater and attraction tickets.

 Other generous donors included Sir Speedy Printing; Lilley’s Landing; Ozark Mountain Ear, Nose & Throat; The Farmhouse Restaurant; Edward Jones-Mitch Holmes; Ozarks Family Vision Centre; Ollis/Akers/Arney Insurance; Hurts Donuts; and Friends of JA (Pam and Dwight Davis; Arden and Susan Munson; and Anthony and Jeanne Sabette).  Many individuals and businesses sponsored tables including Doug Baker State Farm Insurance, Central Bank of Branson, Liberty Utilities, Bear Creek Farms, Binswanger Glass, Trimble & Associates, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, First Community Bank of Branson, Morrissey Law Office, Martin and Wall Law Firm, Branson Bank, Copper Run Distillery, USA Mortgage, Ingrum Law Firm, Hogan Land Title/American National-Trent Fears Agency, Edward Jones-Mac McGregor, and White River Valley Electric Company.

 The main event for the evening was a lively trivia contest in which 29 eight-member teams competed to answer eighty questions from categories such as “What’s Your Pleasure”, “The Tooth Fairy”, “Down by the Sea”, “Wherefore ART Thou”, and “Make the Connection”.

 “Martin & Wall Law Firm” took the first prize and will have their team name engraved on the plaque that honors all the winners through the years.  The Sharpest Tools in the Drawer” took second place, and “Table Rockers” came in third. Each of the winning teams took home fun gift prizes related to the theme.  First place prizes were oil lights from Crystal Fish.

 JATC’s 19th Annual Trivia Challenge was Chaired this year by Marcia VanderLaan.  JA’s major fund-raiser of the year earned over $20,000 through table sales, raffle tickets, silent auction 50/50 drawing, wine pull, 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; labor support for the Crisis Center of Taney County along with kid care “Empowering the Little Dreamers” once a week so moms can attend counseling; School Supplies “refreshment” in January for elementary schools;   Book Swap where children in extended-stay motels are supplied new books to read once a month; Christmas Assistance supporting Branson Schools Welfare Office; and Halloween Grape Stomp in Hollister, MO.

JATC also raises money from other events such as Belk’s Charity Days, 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 98 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.

Published by: The Branson Register, May 1, 2019; Branson Tri-Lakes News, May 3, 2019