Niles Education Foundation to host third murder mystery

NILES — The Niles Education Foundation is taking people to the wild west for its latest murder mystery fundraiser.

The “Wanted Dead or Alive” murder mystery occurs from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 1 at the Elks Lodge, 1322 Canal St. in Niles. Tickets are $40 per person and include a barbecue dinner. A cash bar will also be available. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Niles Education Foundation’s website at nileseducationfoundation.org. Funds from the event will help to raise money for upgrades to the auditorium.

Lisa Muñoz, a Niles High School alum and member of the Niles Education Foundation, said this marks the third murder mystery party the organization has hosted.

“We are encouraging folks to dress up in Western wear: cowboy hats, cowboy boots, because we try to have a theme people can follow along with,” Muñoz said.

The event will be performed by the Murder Mystery Co., a renowned performance group based in Grand Rapids. The company has helped to put on the last two murder mysteries that the Niles Education Foundation hosted. The past events raised more than $5,000 for the school auditorium.

“They have just done such a great job. Everybody raves about these things,” Muñoz said.

In this murder mystery scenario, a variety of characters show up at the local watering hole and instigate trouble. Some of the actors involved include, “maverick gunslingers,” “spurned lovers” and a “sheriff who is not very good at his job.”

Muñoz said the Upton Foundation has offered to contribute grant funds to help pay to replace the Niles High School stage, which initially had been the major effort of the fundraisers. As a result of the grant, Muñoz said the foundation could put fundraiser money toward other aspects of improving the auditorium, including upgrades to sound equipment. 

Muñoz said the murder mystery dinners had helped the fundraising effort to stand out. While the event is for those 21 and older, Muñoz said it has appealed to a people across a spectrum of ages.

“We have got so many different organizations in the area raising money,” Muñoz said. “This was something that no one had done yet.”

Muñoz encouraged people to get in the spirit and find some Western gear.

“I think it gives people a chance to dust off things that have been sitting in their closet,” Muñoz said. “The first one was an ‘80s event, and people had bridesmaid dresses they had kept, school sweaters and varsity sweaters. It’s just an opportunity for people to dress up and have fun.”

Cass County

Two arrested following Ontwa Township drug bust

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,756 cases, 19,664 deaths

Cassopolis

Cassopolis receives NEP grants

Education

EPS to host student vaccination clinic

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass District Library hosts Barnyard to Go event

Education

Books for Bikes program continues at Eagle Lake Elementary

Cassopolis

Former Cassopolis village trustee dies at age 85

Business

Lavender U-pick farm opens for season in Niles

Berrien County

United Federal Credit Union helps the Alex Mandarino Foundation raise $35,000 for childhood cancer research

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Middle School honor roll

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,582 cases, 19,662 deaths

Cass County

Niles woman injured in Mason Township crash

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer announces plan to expand tuition-free college to 22,000 additional Michiganders

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Union High School honor roll

News

Niles Township residents raise concerns about theft, dangerous intersection

News

PHOTO STORY: Work on downtown Niles mural begins

Cass County

Cass County Courts restart jury trials, reopen building

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Middle School Esports team finishes successful inaugural season

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass District Library branches host tie-dye workshops

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: June 16-20

News

Niles police searching for information in June 13 shooting

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,491 cases, 19,647 deaths

Cassopolis

Cassopolis residents host Juneteenth event at Clisbee Park

Berrien County

I&M provides update on power outages