Murder at the gala: BookTrails hosts annual fundraiser |

Murder at the gala: BookTrails hosts annual fundraiser

BookTrails/Courtesy image

BookTrails’ annual gala will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 and this year, watch out: there may be a murderer at your table. The evening’s theme is “James Bond Murder Mystery” and it’s up to the guests to figure out who the culprit is.

Held at Aurum in downtown Steamboat, each table will participate in solving the mystery, with guests receiving envelopes that tell them which character they’re playing and what script to follow. An actor will walk guests through the event as the tables work to solve the mystery – all while enjoying a three-course seated dinner.

This year’s gala is the second that the nonprofit has held to raise money for operating expenses, program enhancements and scholarship funds.

Executive director Emily Krall Osterman founded BookTrails in 2011 with the goal of combining reading with outdoor experiences. Now, the popular summer camp programs serve around 250 children per year. Most summer programs take place at their Reading Ranch in North Routt, which, thanks to a generous donation from Sara Craig-Scheckman in memory of her mother earlier this year, is currently undergoing renovations to improve facilities as well as add new ones.

“This will help us serve the kids we already serve better, and we will also be able to increase enrollment eventually,” said Osterman, noting that the nonprofit will be able to take about 100 more children per summer once the building is done.

“My biggest dream is to increase enrollment, but it will be a few years,” she said.

During the school year, BookTrails holds programs during days off school and the winter holiday break as well as regularly working with children who are two or more grades behind in reading and are simultaneously learning English.

If you go

What: BookTrails Annual Gala: A James Bond-themed murder mystery event

When: Saturday, Nov. 5

Where: Aurum, 811 Yampa St.

Tickets: $175; purchase online at

“They receive literacy education from us all year,” Osterman explained, “and they also come to the camp during the summer. But it’s these 30 or so kids that we mostly focus on during the school year.”

Much of the money raised at Saturday’s gala will go toward scholarship funds for children who can’t afford to pay full price for the summer camps. Guests are encouraged to dress according to the theme — James Bond murder mystery — and to come ready to solve the mystery.

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“We wanted to find a theme that would continue the excitement that we have for stories and for putting ourselves into a story which is what we do at BookTrails with our kids,” said Osterman.

The event is selling out quickly with $175 securing a ticket, a three-course dinner, two drinks, access to silent auction items and of course, a murder.

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