The friends and family of Jacob’s Ladder are becoming veteran crime solvers in their mission to make the world a better place. For the second year in a row they gathered at the Sand Creek Country Club to solve a murder, share a meal, and raise funds for special needs children in the community.
Executive Director Mariann Frigo said, “It’s a wonderful event. Many of our kids love being super heroes and dressing up because it empowers them. This is a great way to raise money for kids still waiting for services.”
Jacob’s Ladder offers therapy and supplemental care for children with down syndrome, spina bifida, autism, and other illnesses.
Each ticket purchased for the Murder Mystery Extravaganza paid for one session of therapy for a child in need. They also had rubber duck adoptions to collect more money. Sponsorships covered the cost of the dinner so that all of the proceeds could directly help the children of Jacob’s Ladder.
“In the state of Indiana you get services from 0 to 3 years and then you ‘graduate’,” said Frigo. Her son, Jacob, is the reason the organization got started in the first place. She saw a need in the community and she filled it.
Candace Arvin, Director of Marketing and Development for Jacob’s Ladder, said, “Our goal is to help each child grow and reach their full potential. One thing that makes us unique is that we do not cap our medicaid patients.”
Thanks to fundraisers like the Murder Mystery Extravaganza, they do not have to. Arvin said their goal for the night was to cover 300 sessions. At $25 a ticket, the total would come to $7500.
Alyssa Condie, a member of Jacob’s Ladder’s Junior Board, said she and her peers were responsible for many of the events that connect Jacob’s Ladder kids with the rest of the community.
“Kids with special needs are a large part of the population and we need to do what we can to help them,” Condie said. “[These events] help the community understand more about these conditions. They make sure the two groups are not isolated.”
In fact most people do have a connection to a child with special needs. Board member Erika Dombey spoke about the experiences that brought her to Jacob’s Ladder and the people she has met since.
“You could say I grew with Jacob’s Ladder,” she said. “When I joined the board in 2001 we were serving 50 kids a week and now we are serving 500. My kids are friends with Jacob’s Ladder kids because this program lets them grow and develop and play just like any other child.”
On October 20th it was the adults that played just like any other child. Dinner Detectives, an acting troupe from Chicago, led guests through a murder investigation using brutal interrogations and breathtaking jokes. Attendees were encouraged to dress in costume, question their neighbors, and spend the night having fun in the name of a good cause.