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Fundraising Can Be Murder
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Red Cross director Mark Ogle writes murder mysteries that nonprofits around the world use to raise funds for worthwhile causes.
August 19, 2009

Writing murder mysteries is not something Mark Ogle ever planned on doing. Nor did he ever think a play he had written would be performed half-way around the globe. 

Murder mystery writer Mark Ogle (red vest and jacket) and other actors perform one of Mark’s plays. Proceeds benefit the Red Cross.
Rogers/Mayes/Wagoner County Red Cross Service Center

What Mark did know was that he was going to lead a life of service. While he was growing up his family supported the American Red Cross. To this day his mother never misses an opportunity to give blood.

That determination to serve has taken Mark on paths from which many of us would turn. He and his wife, Karen, have five children. On their 20-acre farm, they have also provided a safe and loving home to 75 foster children. 

Mark closed his own successful consulting business to become director of the Red Cross office in Claremore, Oklahoma. The office he heads, the Rogers/Mayes/Wagoner County Service Center, is a satellite for the Tulsa Red Cross chapter. After four years on the job, Mark knows he made the right decision. "The Red Cross does make a difference," he says.

Along the way, Mark began writing murder mysteries. He wrote his first about 11 years ago when a nonprofit on whose advisory committee he served was looking for a way to raise money for scholarships. The play was a success. Word spread and other nonprofits contacted Mark, wanting to use his murder mystery to raise funds for their cause.

Since then Mark has authored 15 plays. They have been performed throughout the United States, in India, in Uganda, and beyond. The mysteries have raised money for a host of worthy causes—foster children, school foundations, historical societies, Elk's Club, Rotary Clubs—and the American Red Cross. 

Just a few weeks ago, the Rogers/Mayes/Wagoner County Service Center performed "As the Wagon Wheel Turns," a western drama set in an 1870s saloon. In September Claremore's First United Methodist Church is hosting a fundraiser for the American Red Cross; the evening includes dinner and one of Mark's plays.


About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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