I travel a lot, and so often miss the events that happen in hemophilia close to home. So I was thrilled to know I could attend the New England Hemophilia Association (NEHA)’s fundraising event this past weekend. And it wasn’t a golf tournament (never touched a club in my life) or a cooking class (disaster! Cooking, me?). It was murder.
Murder? Yes! A real-life game of Clue, based on the board game and movie. The movie is hysterical (thanks to actor Tim Curry) as our evening would prove to be!
Doug and I drove to a stunning mansion, just south of Boston, that on a cold dark night could really double as a creepy old haunted house. The massive entrance was crowned not with a statue of an angel, saint or cross, but of a devilish-looking, stone ram’s head, with blank, staring eyes. Inside, a wide-angle view of a spiraling, carpeted staircase, chandeliers, portraits of deceased notables, mounted hunting trophies… and the friendly NEHA staff ready to register us.
There was wine, beer, plenty of great company in seeing the families I’ve known for ages, and meeting some new ones. After a social hour, we had a delicious buffet as members of the cast started to appear, in character, sporting British accents. Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, my favorite—Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, and the Detective from Scotland Yard. But let’s not forget Mr. Boddy, who unfortunately could not make dinner… because he was dead!
Who did it? That was our task. We had to search the mansion for clues to the murderer, and find the murder weapon: a pistol, lead pipe, candlestick, rope, wrench, or knife. It was fun to be with the cast while we prowled about looking under tables, behind curtains and up fireplaces! Everyone got into the act.
This was a fun fundraiser, but it’s also serious business. There are deep concerns in our community about sourcing funds to keep the nonprofits going. Budgets are tighter as companies wait on new drug developments to see how market share will be affected. At HFA in April, all the talk was about how funding was getting harder to secure. And I just noticed this week that NHF’s agenda for the October meeting has a lot of sessions on fundraising.
Well, Rich Pezzillo, executive director and person with hemophilia, and team did it right this time. They raised about $10,000 in one evening, all the while giving everyone a great time, a silent auction, and an arrest!
And something new: a couple at my table was unfamiliar to me so I asked if they had a child with hemophilia. No, they knew nothing about hemophilia. They saw a brochure for the event at their local bank, wanted a fun night out, and decided to attend. They were amazed at how much they learned about hemophilia. And they left with new friends and a silent auction item! (But those Red Sox tickets were mine)
So fun + prizes + game (+ murder) + out-of-the-box-thinking + inviting strangers = outstanding event and fundraiser.
Congratulations to Rich and his team for a great event. So what if it was a murder? It was a bloody good fundraiser and a bloody good time.