Steele County Clothesline hosts murder mystery, black-tie event - Owatonna MN: News

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Steele County Clothesline hosts murder mystery, black-tie event

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Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 3:22 pm | Updated: 7:17 pm, Fri Feb 7, 2014.

OWATONNA — For 51 years the Steele County Clothesline has been serving area residents in need.

And Mary Fink, executive director of the Clothesline, wants to continue to help Steele Countians.

“We need to keep it going,” Fink said. “We don’t want to lose it.”

On Feb. 15 at the Owatonna Country Club, the Clothesline will host a black-tie event featuring a dinner, live auction, dance and a murder mystery called “Murder of a Millionaire.”

Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. where attendees may enjoy an alcoholic or non-alcoholic pear ginger martini, which comes with the ticket.

Around 6:30 p.m., guests file into the dining room for dinner, which includes parmesan-crusted salmon, beef medallions or Waldorf chicken.

“It’s an upper-end dinner,” Fink said.

During dinner, the murder mystery will begin.

“Someone killed Rick A. Rochester,” Fink said. “It’s the murder of a millionaire.”

This is the Clothesline’s first black-tie event, and it is replacing the organization’s annual auction basket fundraiser.

“Some people in the community said they were ready for a black-tie affair, so we are calling it a 'black-tie affair to show you care,'” Fink said.

She said a group of about 20 community members met last fall for a brainstorming session to determine what was wanted from a fundraiser.

And they all wanted to be entertained, Fink said, and that’s when the murder mystery idea surfaced.

“We started with one idea and kept hitting stumbling blocks, but the idea evolved and this is what we have,” Fink said.

She said some people may be shying away from the event because of the attire.

“We won’t turn anyone away because they’re not in a nice suit or a woman doesn’t like wearing dresses,” Fink said. “We just ask that you be as formal as you can. It is a formal affair.”

After dinner, guests will have the opportunity to bid on desserts made by bakers from the area.

“There will be an envelope on each table, and the people at the table will have 15 minutes to stuff the envelope with cash or checks. Whoever has the most in the envelope at the end will be able to pick the table’s dessert first,” Fink said. “It’s another little fundraiser within our fundraiser.”

After dessert, there will be a live auction for two items including a five-course Italian dinner for eight and El Tequila meals and margaritas for eight donated by the owners.

From 9 to 11 p.m. there will be a dance with a DJ, and in another room, Doug Madow will play the piano accompanied by vocals from Rebecca Somers.

“There will be two choices for people,” Fink said. “It’s all about choices and constant entertainment.”

Tickets for the event are $100 each and include a martini, dinner, the murder mystery and entertainment.

They are available at St. Clair’s for Men, Dream Day Bridals by Marcia and the Steele County Clothesline.

Fink hopes to raise $20,000 at the event.

“The funds will go toward keeping the Clothesline available in the county, keeping it in a handicap-accessible building and remaining in its current location without downsizing,” she said.

Fink said people who are unable to attend the black-tie event may still donate to the Steele County Clothesline. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 933 in Owatonna.

“It’s still a way to help us do what we do best, which is helping people in need,” she said.

The Clothesline is open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays.

For more information, call 451-2550.

© 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • AverageJoe posted at 8:35 am on Sat, Feb 15, 2014.

    AverageJoe Posts: 1

    I believe what you are saying is that all forms of entertainment, including hollywood movies and classic theater that involve any type of murder what so ever, should be banned. Am I understanding you correctly? Do you honestly believe that anyone in Owatonna would find this fundraiser offensive?? You think just because the fundraiser is a murder mystery that it is somehow a slap in the face to all families who have lost a loved one due to homicide. You think that the majority of people in this country can’t understand the difference between the two? You need to take a deep breath and realize that this fundraiser is for an excellent cause and they are using something truly creative to get people excited about donating money. I will be attending this noble event and I’m proud of it. I also noticed that your screen name is “dahliadiva”. I realize that a dahlia is a perennial plant native to Mexico, but most people think of the “The Black Dahlia” when they see the word “dahlia”. Without going into the gruesome details, I think you can decipher what I’m trying to say.

  • dahliadiva posted at 6:18 pm on Fri, Feb 7, 2014.

    dahliadiva Posts: 1

    On Feb. 15th, the Owatonna Country Club will be hosting the Steele County Clothesline annual dinner. It's a murder based evening with guests told that a male has been murdered and it is their goal during the night to figure out who did it. May I suggest they contact the local Rochester chapter of Parents of Murdered Children as well as MINE - Murder Is Not Entertainment (MINE)SMProgram - a nationwide campaign to alert society to its insensitivity towards murder and its aftermath. This attitude is flamed by a myriad of sources including TV, toys, games and other means of entertainment. They would be more than willing to discuss the thousands of victims and their suffering families.
    This is the second murder mystery night this year that the country club has hosted. And, the Steele County Clothesline seriously thought that promoting the death of an individual and gunning it for an evening of fun and excitement is appropriate. There are several people in Owatonna that are parents/spouses/children of murder victims, I'm sure they'd be more than pleased to see this being cast as a night of fun. Oh yes, aren't we all appalled and sickened when a young person or adult is murdered and it's played out on the media, we watch every step of the court case, tsk tsk the offender and consider it one of the most heinous crimes against a person. The cost is $100 per person to play. I'm thoroughly disgusted.


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