Classic Whodunit

Area residents who visited the Jamestown Community College’s Hamilton Collegiate Center over the weekend became principal interrogators in a classic case of “whodunit.”

On Friday and Saturday evenings, the JCC Alumni Association presented its 26th annual interactive mystery for more than 250 community residents.

This year’s event was entitled “Mystery at the Airport,” and transformed the student union into a convincing representation of the Chautauqua County/Jamestown airport terminal. The mystery involved the theft of cremated remains and $60,000 in cash from a bag in the luggage claim area, and featured 10 characters, who were questioned in pairs by attendees in an attempt to determine the perpetrator(s).

According to Kristen Johnson, director of alumni relations, the continued success of the interactive mystery every year makes it the Alumni Association’s highest grossing annual fundraiser.

“Every year, we raise about $4,000 for the Alumni Association’s four scholarships,” Johnson said. “We give a High School Bowl scholarship, two tuition scholarships and a textbook scholarship for part-time students; and the money we raise goes toward each of those.”

The event was coordinated by the JCC Alumni Association’s board of directors, the members of which showcased their acting abilities by portraying the characters in the interactive mystery. Johnson said the JCC Alumni Association currently has approximately 18,600 alumni in network, 80 percent of which still call Western New York home.

She said this contributes to an overwhelming community response to the interactive mystery on a yearly basis.

“Tickets usually sell out within three weeks of going on sale,” she said. “This is an unbelievable amount of support from the community. We actually have people calling us in November and asking us for the dates. So, it’s absolutely a staple in the community and we look forward to it every year.”

Each year, the Alumni Association Mystery Theater receives support from a number of local sponsors, including: 3C’s Catering, Bair’s Pizza & Sub Shop, Brigiotta’s Farmland Store, Domino’s Pizza, Ecklof’s Bakery, Elegant Edibles, Farm Fresh Foods, Friendly’s Restaurant, Honest John’s Pizzeria, Landmark Restaurant, Lena’s Pizza, Lessing’s Foodservice Management, Little Caesars Pizza, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group of Jamestown, Pizza Hut, Raynor’s Liquor Store, Red Lobster, Sam’s Club, Sandee’s Bakery & Deli, Tarmac Cafe at the Jamestown Airport, Tops Friendly Markets and Travel Team Inc. of Jamestown.

In addition, AB Better Alternative will be donating 20 percent of all proceeds through the end of February to the Alumni Association’s scholarship fund.