Friends of the Old Courthouse is raising money for restoration

Friends of the Old Courthouse will launch two fundraising efforts this month when they host a murder mystery dinner and take orders for a keepsake coffee table photo book.

Tapping into the Halloween season, the Masquerade on Main murder mystery dinner will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. The scene of the crime will be the upstairs banquet hall at Mia Passione restaurant, 228 Main St., Woodstock.

“We were looking to have something different,” said Friends committee member Sue Stelford.

The evening’s entertainment will include local actors portraying characters in the murder mystery, music, a silent auction and Italian cuisine prepared by Mia Passione. Each participant will receive a unique party favor, a hand-made dessert plate courtesy of the Clay Guild.

“The Clay Guild has a long history of shows at the Old Courthouse. They partnered with us to provide the plates and support restoration,” said Stelford.

Suggested attire for the evening is business casual but costumes and/or masks are encouraged to help set the murder mystery mood.

Ticket cost is $50 per person, available online at friendsoftheoldcourthouse.org with will-call pickup at Mia Passione, or tickets can be mailed for an additional $5 mailing fee.

A new event for Friends of the Old Courthouse, they hope to make the dinner an annual event.

“Maybe some day we can host the event in the Courthouse,” said Stelford.

Another fundraiser taking place this month is preorders of the Friends’ keepsake coffee-table photo book “A Week in the Life of McHenry County, IL.” The book contains about 200 photos, reflecting touching and memorable moments found throughout the county during the week of May 6 to 14, 2017.

“It’s like a time capsule,” said Stelford. “It was a busy weekend around the county.”

The preorder cost is $36 online. Following delivery in late October, the cost will increase to $45 and for purchase at Read Between the Lynes on the Square. All proceeds will be dedicated to restoration efforts at the Old McHenry County Courthouse and Sheriff’s House such as the current window campaign, exterior stabilization and water damage repair.

Stelford hopes people countywide  will be interested in the fundraising efforts. “[The Courthouse] is a great Civil War-era building,” she said. “It’s McHenry County’s Courthouse, not just Woodstock’s.”

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