May 14, 2007

Dinner guests are left clueless to mystery outcome

For 10 years, the Remers’ famous mystery dinner has raised more than $7,000 for Holy Trinity Schools

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

At April’s Holy Trinity annual Spring Fling auction, the auctioneer didn’t have to work nearly as hard as she once did to get bidders for the Remers’ mystery dinner.

With many successful dinners behind them, word is out that the Sherlock Holmes’ evening is entertaining and worth every penny paid out by the winning bidder.

It was 10 years ago, when Doug and Diane Remer of Howard Lake offered up their home and multi-talents to create a mystery dinner for 12 people. The evening offers a five-course meal, bar drinks, entertainment, and clues offered to guests to solve a crime.

With the help of wait staff Gary and Joan Daigle, Bob and Joan Mochinski, Doug and Diane Remer, and Brent and Barb Schank, mystery games are chosen and presented.

“We are a team, we would not do it without everyone,” Diane said.

“The mystery themes we use aren’t typical games you can go and buy at the mall. Most of those are for six to eight people. The ones we use are for 12. You can find a lot of information about them online,” Diane said.

The mystery dinner that once brought in $300 at Holy Trinity’s auction, this year brought in $1,600. In all, the mystery dinner has earned a grand total of $7,995 for Holy Trinity Schools in the 10 years it has been offered.

Because the mystery dinner is selling for such a high price, the group has decided to incorporate a limousine ride to the dinner, provided by Art Mallak of Lester Prairie.

“We try to give the people more than their money’s worth, even though we don’t get any of the money from it,” Diane said.

The Remers’ home reflects the atmosphere for the evening.

Some of the dinners are more elaborate than others. Whatever the mystery is, they will add the necessary props, music, and even the food to set the mood for their guests.

If there is a seasonal theme, the dinners are scheduled to go along with the holiday.

Some of the mystery dinners have been a Halloween-type evening, which is planned around the Remers’ famous haunted woods. It is quite a spooky affair. Invitations arrive decorated with spiderwebs. The dinner guests are first given a tour of the Remers’ haunted trails, which has caused even the bravest individuals to scream into the night or break into tears of fright.

Another mystery takes place at Christmas-time in the 1940s. This mystery is scheduled during the Christmas season, so the Christmas tree is up and decorated, as well as other seasonal decorations in place.

“We have preview dinners if we are going to do mysteries we haven’t done before,” Diane said. “We enjoy getting our group together to do the run-through. Then, we know how the game will progress and what it is about.”

The guests of the mystery dinner receive an invitation to the Remers’ home with a brief idea of what the mystery is, the character description the individual is to be, and costume suggestions.

“The fun part is having people run with their character. It makes it twice as much fun for the rest of us,” Diane said.

Once they arrive, the rest of the information, as far as who they know and what they know about the night of the crime, is given to each guest individually. These are the things they need to divulge throughout the course of the evening.

Also, clues are given in a police report at the crime scene.

Students from Holy Trinity help wherever needed. In the most recent mystery dinners, Kelly (HT sophomore) and Katie (HT eighth grader) Jones played flutes for the evening.

Other students have volunteered to help out in the haunted woods during the Halloween mystery dinner.

The Remer and Daigle children help every year, putting in countless hours, helping where needed.

The group is contemplating the possibility of putting their genius minds together to create their own mystery dinner. With the years of experience the group has, whatever the mystery, it should be outstanding, and it is being done for a good cause.

The Remers’ mystery dinner will be offered again next April to the highest bidder at Holy Trinity’s Spring Fling auction.

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