- Real Estate
- Paris Flash
A wealthy landowner was shot and killed Saturday, which as it turns out, was a good thing.
People gathered at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church and solved the murder of Richard Woods and raised money for New Hope Center of Paris.
“We sold out,” New Hope Director Gay Ballew said as she helped fix the evening’s meal. “We had 100 tickets, and we sold all of them.”
“Murder on the Prairie” had dozens of characters, including suspects, witnesses and extras. As people bought tickets, some were given roles they would play that evening. Each got a small script after arriving at the dinner.
Suspects were introduced after the soup course. Witnesses walked up to the microphone to deliver clues during the main course. They wove a tale of a harsh, unforgiving man who dominated his wife, daughter and much of the town around him. None were sorry to see Woods dead, and many would have done the deed themselves had daughter Annabel not beat them to it to avoid having to marry an ugly laywer.
“I think it’s going to be interesting,” David Leddy said while reviewing his role as Sheriff Clyde Williams. “I’m interested in the whodunnit stuff. It’s something different with the dinner.”
New Hope Center staff, volunteers and clients worked the event, the first such fund raiser for the transitional housing organization.
“This is our trial run,” Ballew said. “If nothing else, we hope everyone has a good time.”
She thanked Geraldine Smith for taking on organization of the event.
“She has worked her bottom off preparing for this,” Ballew said. “She has run to Kroger and Walmart about a hundred times.”
Before the mystery got under way, Dianne Stegall of the Modern Woodmen of America presented Andy and Kim Fasken with the organization’s Hometown Hero Award, which includes a donation to a charity of the Fasken’s choice.
Ballew said it was to honor all they have given “not just to our agency, New Hope Center, but to probably every other organization in Lamar County.”
“Andy would be very upset if he was here. He doesn’t like this kind of thing,” Kim said. “I don’t have the words to thank you for this. We don’t deserve this.”
By Jeff Parish, eParisExtra