By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

A fundraiser benefiting an agency which assists those battling terminal illness is back on the schedule following a brief postponement.

Southeast Texas Hospice is once again holding its annual Mystery Dinner Theater fundraiser. The event will be held at 6:30 p.m., Monday, May 23, and Tuesday, May 24, inside St. Mary Parish Hall, 912 W. Cherry St. in Orange. Tickets are on sale now for $30 per person and can be purchased in advance at the hospice office or by calling for reservations at 409-886-0622 or 800-749-3497.

This year’s production is “Dorothy Dinsmore, Gossip Columnist,” and, according to Mary McKenna, director of Southeast Texas Hospice, it should provide for an exciting event.

“The columnist, Dorothy Dinsmore, always has some real juicy gossip on some interesting characters in a real small town,” McKenna explained. “And one of them decided to get rid of Dorothy.”

The event is typically held earlier in the spring each year, but events beyond McKenna’s control required a change to the schedule.

“The 30-ton air conditioning unit for the building died, and it took a while to get a new one,” McKenna said. “There was a lot of work which had to be done to accommodate this new unit for the building, but we’re finally ready to go.”

Moving the event, which is being sponsored by Granger Chevrolet and the Ross and Eva Smith Foundation, brought forth its own set of challenges too.

“We lost of some of our actors from the original dates because of conflicting schedules with the new dates, but we were fortunate in another way because now we have some of the actors from OCP (Orange Community Players) helping us out,” McKenna added. “Originally, they couldn’t help us because of a production they had at that time.”

Serving as Master of Ceremonies will be the entertaining Nolan LeBlanc.

McKenna said this year’s meal is being donated and prepared by staff members of the Christus healthcare system.

The meal will include Honey-thymed Chicken Breast, spiced mashed sweet potatoes, lemon garlic roasted broccoli, spring mix salad with a champagne vinegarette, tea and wine and cake for dessert.

Along with the entertaining performance, there will be plenty of door prizes for guests who help solve the mystery and a silent auction and live auction will be held with fabulous items up for bid.

Reservations are strongly recommended. Guests may call to make a reservation and then pay at the door on the night of the respective performance.

All proceeds benefit the Southeast Texas Hospice organization as it continues to provide assistance and service to terminal patients and family members.