Murder mystery Friday night to aid WSU clinic

A “murder” will occur Friday in a 130-year-old building in downtown Wichita with tall chimneys, stone spires and stained glass.

The police will never be called and no one will be arrested, charged, tried or convicted.

The “crime” begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Wichita Scottish Rite Center as a murder-mystery fundraiser for clients at Wichita State’s Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic (SLH Clinic), titled “Murder at Venue 332, Death by Champagne & Chocolate.”

The fundraiser includes dinner, an auction, raffle, live entertainment, champagne and chocolates, while the audience awaits the verdict.  

“Attendees will be entertained by the antics and shenanigans of the murder mystery players,” said Lisa Sparks, office manager for Wichita Scottish Rite, and a WSU alumna. 

The innocent and guilty alike can stalk through the Egyptian Room, filled with sphinxes and paintings of Egyptian gods, the Crystal Room, adorned with a wall of crystal windows and armchairs, and the library, in an attempt to identify the killer.

It will be similar to the board game Clue. The audience participates, and at the end of the three-part mystery, all attendees will vote for whom they think committed the murder, Sparks said.

The raffle and auction include donated items from local businesses to support the charity. Some of the big items include a historic Stearman plane ride, a Christmas light trolley tour with River City Trolley or a dinner for two with men’s basketball head coach Gregg Marshall.

“What the funds do is make [clinic care] more affordable and give scholarships to the families to use the family services at the clinic,” said Carrie Wyatt, senior administrative specialist at the SLH Clinic.  

The clinic offers diagnostic and clinical services to children and adults in the areas of speech, language and hearing. Clinic Director Mary Beasley said WSU faculty and supervised graduate students provide care to clients at different agencies throughout the Wichita area.

Beasley said the clinic also has a pre-school program for children aged 2 to 5 years old, and special areas for autism and stroke rehabilitation. The clinic currently serves about 150 clients.

Beasley said the Wichita Scottish Rite Center hosts the fundraiser each year to help offset the costs of providing services at the clinic. 

“The parents may not have the insurance or the ability to pay, so we work with those families and provide them a scholarship,” Beasley said. “Through the Scottish Rite program we receive the money to work the scholarship program every year.”

Last year’s fundraiser collected about $19,000, Beasley said.

Through the donations, the clinic usually provides needed materials and 10 to 20 scholarships every year.

“When kids get help early on, it helps them get a handle on their academic career so they can ultimately do better in life,” Sparks said.

The Mystery Theatre production by the Wichita Scottish Rite Signature Theatre is $75 a person, or $125 a couple.

For tickets or more information, visit the theater’s website or call the Scottish Rite at 316-263-4218.