The Hope Diamond has come up missing and one character won’t survive the night.
Hope Community Resources of Kodiak is hosting a murder mystery, dinner and auction as part of its third annual Heart of Hope fundraiser Feb. 18, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center.
The nonprofit organization provides services to aid people with disabilities.
Building on its successful fundraiser last year, this year’s murder mystery will continue the tangled tale of the Hinkle family.
Last year the mystery centered around who killed Big Daddy Hinkle. People who attended last year’s event will encounter familiar characters like Junior Hinkle and the slimy Barry, and some new characters, like the twin sisters of Lurlene, Big Daddy’s wife and last year’s culprit for the murder.
The Hope Diamond will also make a reappearance. Last year it was a prop in the murder mystery and then auctioned off. However, it was given back to Hope by the winning bidder so it could be used again.
“The silent auction will interact with the murder mystery because Junior has managed to spend his father’s whole fortune and has made the company bankrupt,” said Maria Ng’ethe, who plays twin sister Ferlene. “He’s trying to raise money for his company.”
Ng’ethe is also a regional team leader with Hope Community Resources. She said all proceeds from the auction and the Hope dinner would stay in Kodiak and help people here rather than going to the statewide organization.
“It’s going to be a good night,” Ng’ethe said. “It’s going to be worth it.”
Last year’s event was completely sold out and some people who came to the door had to be turned away.
“The sooner you get your tickets, the better,” Ng’ethe said. “And trust me, they go fast. We sell them by tables as well as by individuals, so people are buying out tables.”
Ticket prices to the fundraiser are $50 per ticket or $500 to reserve a table of eight.
The dinner will be presented by chef Joel Chenet.
The big-ticket item for the evening’s auction is a 24-foot Almar Jetline boat with a 250-horsepower Yamaha outboard engine. In terms of the show, the boat comes from a charter business Junior inherited from his deceased father which he must now sell to pay the debts of the company.
In real life, the boat has a far less shady history. Hope Community Resources has used the boat as part of their program services and the proceeds from the sale will return to fund Hope in Kodiak.
“What we try and do in Hope is include the people we support in everyday life,” Ng’ethe said.
That support translates to being able to hunt and fish for people who have grown up with these activities in their culture.
“So to give them that back is such a big deal for them,” Ng’ethe said.
“It’s also just part of something great,” she said. “In Kodiak everybody goes fishing. It’s just part of life, it’s part of inclusion. So that’s why the boat is a big deal to us.”
This boat is now being auctioned off because Hope Community Resources has recently purchased a 28-foot boat with wheelchair access.
“We want Kodiak to have first dibs on the boat,” Ng’ethe said. Otherwise Hope plans to sell the boat in an Alaska-wide auction. They are looking for a sale price near $20,000.
They aren’t really expecting someone to walk up with that amount of money at the murder mystery auction.
“But if anyone is interested, please let us know,” Ng’ethe said. “We really do want it to stay in Kodiak.”