IABC-LA’s annual holiday teas have been truly lovely and held in beautiful tearooms over the last few years…however, there was a chalk mark drawn around the still body of the tea concept this year in favor of something entirely new…and unique: A Holiday Murder Mystery Luncheon!
How well does a Murder Mystery go with the holidays? Only ZorroClaus, a wisecracking “LAPD detective” and crime-solving IABC members them-elves could participate in such twists and turns at The Porterhouse Bistro in Beverly Hills on December 11, 2010. And yes, the demise of some “victims” was brought on by our own members (see video attached). Who was involved and why? Besides inspired event coordination by Myra Jolivet (who brought up the idea originally), with assistance by Christie Ly and Christopher Cabrera, a secret source supplied information about some chapter members to the host of the interactive Murder Mystery to create intrigue, heavy laughs, red herrings and fun.
The L.A. Chapter maintained its commitment and passion to communications as bodies fell from being “shot”, “stabbed” or “poisoned.” Chapter member Bill Spaniel donned his baseball caps in Sherlock Holmes style and used his delightful wit as one of the crime-solvers. Bill also reminded us of the upcoming judging opportunities for The Gold Quill Awards. Rebecca Mikkelsen and chapter President, Paula Cassin, reiterated how much we learn from the entries in participating as a Gold Quill Judge…with terrific networking opportunities professionally and personally. (Rebecca and I have become wonderful friends since pairing up as Gold Quill judging partners last January. I later joined Rebecca’s social media team for the chapter this year.) Rebecca and Stephen Cassin also participated kindly as our mystery host threw questions at us about what we know about these two possible suspects.
We enjoyed our four-course luncheon of gourmet food and wine while catching up with members. Later, Julie Fornaro, our new website’s mastermind, read from a suspiciously-dropped business card “Hits-R-Us” while a wisecracking “LAPD detective” threaded the mounting clues throughout the interactive plot… including a Santa hat with a sword poked through a note from “ZorroClaus.” Otherwise hard-working Chapter President Paula Cassin revealed herself as “ZorroClaus” …and Keeping Up with the Kardashians..well, sort of…having much fun distributing “stolen” cash and presents. Kerry Bonner sported her bright and cheery red jacket during the event’s pre-luncheon cocktails…only to “wear a knife” and create some great laughs during her “death scene.” Bill Spaniel, David Schmidt, Gail Herring, Chris Cabrera and Stephen Cassin were terrific sports against the detective’s banter. Chapter crime-solvers also included Mauria McPoland, Marsha Webster, Louvenia Austin, Elodie Khavarani , Susan Delgadillo and Pamela Corante-Hansen…all suspects until proven innocent. Cheryl Farrell had some serious explaining to do…which led to some hilarious communications and “battle scene” antics between the detective and Cheryl.
Congrats to Ariela Iringan and Briana Sharp who were the closest in figuring out the details, motives and storyline when everyone paired up to solve the crimes. Our host proclaimed the rest of us as not-yet-detective-ready in our “pathetic” attempts to solve the motives behind the secrets. We enjoy solving communications issues…or bad puns like “Nobody Does It Deader.”
Chris Cabrera of Southern California Edison and Paula Cassin, presented a $500 donation check to our chapter’s guest, Gina Quesenberry, Librarian at the El Monte Library in support of the El Monte Library’s programs that reach children, teens and adults. We were delighted to have Gina take part in our mystery while being a gracious and good-humored recipient toward our chapter’s commitment to supporting our communities. Chris Cabrera also stated that Southern California Edison is making a donation of 85 books to enhance the library’s materials towards further support.
Warm thanks to Myra Jolivet, Christie Ly, and Chris Cabrera for putting their distinct and creative fingerprints all over this memorable event. Acting nods to Paula, Kerry and Cheryl…for hilarious comedic “drama” and our thanks again to The Porterhouse Bistro actors and staff who put some holiday crackle into our tongue-in-cheek event.