Chamber Chat: Excitement builds for ‘Murder at the Mather’

Samantha LaJeunesse, executive director, GINCC

It’s my favorite time of the year, the time where I get to plan our Annual Gala Fundraiser. Each year for the past 12 years, the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce host an annual celebration for our members. When I began working for the chamber last August, I quickly immersed myself into the planning and fundraising for this event. After all, I was told this is our largest fundraiser of the year, and with my competitive nature I set out to make it memorable and profitable.

A Chamber of Commerce is meant to be an organization to support it’s members and the community’s that is within it. Our chamber includes Negaunee, Ishpeming, Marquette, Gwinn, Republic, Champion, and Michigamme. We have over 175 current members that are part of our organization and although we may not have daily contact with each and every member, our goal is to support the growth and development of these businesses and organizations. The more money we bring in, the better services and support we can offer to them.

Fundraising is a hard task. It takes time, dedication, and creativity to prosper. This year I am taking that to heart. Let’s make the fundraising experience more fun and interactive. The Mather of Ishpeming is helping bring my creativity to life. As a beautiful historical site in Ishpeming, it will be the venue for our 13th Annual Gala – Murder at the Mather on October 11, 2023 at 5:30pm. Seeing as though it’s the “Lucky Number 13” Gala and October is “Spooky Season”, I couldn’t help but plan a Murder Mystery event.

Although the Mather did not open until 1932, our theme is going to be 1920’s Prohibition and Flapper style. Touring The Mather for my very first time, this theme spoke to me. Our guests are encouraged, but not required to dress for the era. I personally have several options in my Amazon cart, but am religiously searching all of our great thrift and antique stores for my outfit! I’m also hoping to find some great candelabras, pearls, and anything else I can to make sure everyone feels immersed in the era.

While dressing up is fun, the real fun comes during the event. In the words of Al Capone, “Prohibition has done nothing but trouble.” And trouble is exactly what’s coming. This gala is also a Murder Mystery Party. Whether you want to become a private investigator, a hunch of detectives, or even just an innocent bystander and observe the action, you have the opportunity to solve the upcoming crime. Whoever’s group or even just an individual solves the mystery first will win our Mystery Grand Prize!

Why is the Grand Prize a Mystery? It will be revealed as soon as I secure the PERFECT prize. I’ve always put a lot of thought and effort into my projects, and this will be no different. I am writing the plot and creating the clues myself too. I, alone will be the only person who knows who is the “killer”. Not even the actor who plays the killer will know it’s them until the perfect moment!

So if you’re looking for a fun night out on October 11th, head on over to MurderAtTheMather.eventbrite.com or email me at ginccdirector@gmail.com for tickets. This is also a great time to promote your business through donating to the event. All sponsors will be displayed at the event as well in various promotional marketing leading up to the event. We encourage donating baskets, gift certificates, your business’s promotional swag, and even money we can put towards food, supplies, and other great prizes! No donation is too small, as every little bit helps.

We will see you at The Mather!

EDITORS NOTE: Samantha LaJeunesse is the Executive Director the GINCC. She currently resides in Ishpeming with her boyfriend Curt and their fur babies, Beaver, Shadow, and Bowser. Sam enjoys golf, crafting, and music in her spare time.


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