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‘Murder at the Malt Shop’: A grand dinner theatre success for CASA


An evening of theatrical delight paired with a noble cause recently took center stage as the "Murder at the Malt Shop" dinner theater event captivated a near-capacity audience, raising a commendable $19,300 for the children supported by the 37th Judicial Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

Held on a crisp Saturday evening, the Sept. 9 event was a testament to community involvement and philanthropy. The proceeds will directly benefit the children for whom CASA advocates, ensuring they have the support and representation they need in judicial proceedings.

The CASA board of directors, led by Executive Director Connie Pendergrass, expressed profound gratitude for the overwhelming support from the community. "It's heartwarming to witness such generosity," Pendergrass remarked. "Every dollar, every ticket, every applause goes toward helping a child find stability and justice."

Special acknowledgment was extended to the diligent workers who helped that evening, notably the Missouri State University-West Plains students who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Rebecca Peterson and her troupe from the STARS Foundation entertained attendees with an enthralling performance that was both engaging and memorable.

Ruby Collins, owner of Rubydoo’s Vintage Events, received high praise for providing an enchanting venue and a sumptuous meal that added to the evening's allure. RA Pendergrass's auctioneering skills further bolstered fundraising efforts, contributing an additional $2,022 from eager bidders.

The success of the event was also attributed to the generous sponsorships from numerous businesses and individual community members. The list of benefactors was vast, with companies spanning various sectors, from health to legal services, all rallying behind the noble cause.

Some prominent sponsors included West Plains Greenhouse and Nursery, Regina Gleghorn-Edward Jones, Ozarks Healthcare, Pendergrass Farm and Southern Missouri Community Health Clinic, among many others. The gesture of businesses and individuals opening their hearts to support CASA's mission was met with immense gratitude.

"It's events like these that underscore the power of unity in a community," said a beaming Pendergrass. "When businesses, individuals and performers come together with a shared goal, magic happens."

Special commendations were also extended to everyone who purchased tickets, with many attendees expressing their joy in contributing to a cause that hits close to home for so many.

The culmination of the event's success was attributed to the dedicated CASA advocates and the fundraising committee, whose meticulous planning and hours of commitment ensured the evening went off without a hitch.

As the curtains closed on the "Murder at the Malt Shop" event, the palpable sense of community and philanthropy lingered in the air, a strong reminder that when a community stands together, positive change is not just possible — it's inevitable.