Cold cases highlight new fundraiser

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to solve old crimes, now’s your chance.

McDonough Arts will hold a Cold Cases and Cocktails event Oct. 23 from 5:30-11 p.m. It will be at Cannon Cleveland Funeral Directors, 2580 Ga. Highway 42 North in McDonough. The occasion is a fundraiser for art and music teachers in Henry County, says McDonough Arts President Jea Gackowski.

“It’s just a new and creative way to support our schools, our teachers and our kids,” she says. “The difference with this is that we’re bringing in some outside experts with Cold Case Investigative Research Institute.”

Admission for Cold Cases and Cocktails is $100 per person, or $150 per couple. Groups of 10 can get a table at the event for $750. Dinner will be catered by The Grand Gourmet, and prizes will be awarded for the best table decoration at the event.

Tickets are available at the following McDonough locations: Laura S. Crumbley, CPA at 48 Atlanta St.; and at Moye’s Pharmacy, 62 Keys Ferry St.

Tia McCallum is a board member for McDonough Arts, who is coordinating the inaugural event. She says attendees will learn more about how to solve cold cases, and will even be able to hear about a case that remains unsolved during the “interactive” event.

“I selected one case, and we’re actually going to be able to work with the experts that have worked on this case,” she says.

McCallum adds that guests at Cold Cases and Cocktails will be able to view the actual police files associated with the case.

“People are very interested in crime stories,” she says. “It will get under your skin as you try to figure out what happened. We like to think of it as shedding light on a dark situation. The family would like to get this solved.”

Instructors at the institute, McCallum says, use real-life cold cases to train criminology students.

“It’s a real positive for the families because they think, ‘wow, somebody’s actually trying to do something to solve this,’” she says.

The spookiness won’t stop there, either. The following day, Oct. 24 from 4-10 p.m., McDonough Arts and the CCIRI will join forces with the Henry Players at the McDonough Cemetery downtown for a “Crypts, Cold Cases and Cemetery” event.

“The Henry Players are going have seven real-life cases that happened in our area, and they’re going to act them out,” says McCallum. “Five out of the seven have been solved, and two are unsolved. It’s really going to be a good event.”

The occasion will begin with a free festival featuring live music, face-painting, food trucks and a “zombie land.” Crypt tours, available for $10 each, will kick off at 5 p.m.

McCallum emphasizes that children under age 10 will not be allowed on the tour.

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