“Jeopardy” star Stephanie Jass hosts a party at local brewery

Milan’s own Stephanie Jass is photographed sporting her Adrian College-Jeopady T-shirt and enjoying a class of her favorite beer at Original Gravity Brewing Company.

Jay and Janice Wren and daughter Lilly were having dinner at the Original Gravity Brewing Company on the night “Jeopardy” game show winner Stephanie Jass celebrated with a viewing party at the popular local establishment.

Judy Krieger, Sallie Bancroft and Joan Cullip watched an episode of “Jeopardy” at the Original Gravity Brewing Company, the night Stephanie Jass, game show contestant, held a viewing party. They are all Jass fans.

Joyce Ervin Milan resident and freelance writer attended a viewing party held at the Original Gravity Brewing Company and is photographed with the “Jeopardy” game show champion.

Millions of people watched Stephanie Jass on the TV game show “Jeopardy” as she answered her way to  a record-breaking  win of $147,570  in eight days, but  a lucky few met the now famous  contestant here in Milan where she makes her home.

Jass held a viewing party for co-workers and friends  on Oct. 10 at her favorite Milan haunt, the Original Gravity Brewery Company,  when her whirlwind rise to popularity was just beginning.

Janice and Jay Wren took their 5-year-old  daughter Lilly to dinner at the local eatery and Wren, a Jeopardy fan, recognized her when she came in the door.  “I’ve been watching her for the last couple of nights,” Wren said, “She’s got an awesome great personality.”

The Wren’s weren’t invited to the party but  were soon included in the fanfare and excitement of the evening. Jass circled the room attempting to balance her time between  greeting people, watching  the “Jeopardy” competition on the big screen TV and visiting with her guests.

Seated at the reserved table for special guests was Michelle Beechler, an assistant professor of psychology at  Adrian College.  Beechler said she came to support  Jass and share in her success.

On the other side of the room, two Milan couples, Joan and Jim Cullip and Don and Judy Krieger, said they came to the brewery  and were surprised  to see Jass.  Judy Krieger said her sister from Lansing called her that day to say someone from Milan was on Jeopardy.     Little did she know, she would be in the same room with Jass that evening she said.

Joan Cullip said she watched Jass on TV earlier in the day at an Ann Arbor ice cream parlor.  A friend told Cullip Jass would be at the brewery.  “I wanted to see her myself,” Cullip said.  Big Jeopardy fans, Gail and Terry Chapmen , made a special trip to see Jass.  Chapman had just one word to say after watching the show and seeing Jass, “Yeah.”

Sallie Bancroft  visited the brewery after learning Jass would be there.  In her unofficial role, Bancroft pointed Jass out to guests, helped adjust the lighting for Jass’ photo shoots and made certain to give her a big Milan send off by wishing her luck.  Jass responded with an invitation to Bancroft to attend a future event.

Joining her fans and friends in the festivities, Jass enjoyed a mug of her favorite brew, “OG’s pepper smoker”.  She said she held the party so her Michigan and Ohio friends could come and watch and cheer her up.

Jass said she was serious about teaching history to her students as an associate professor at Adrian College  and was honored to represent the school. Jass was grateful for their support and said the school held a special “Adrian-Jeopardy” for the students in her honor. Pointing at her shirt, she said, “They even made these T-shirts.”  More than 75 students attended their professor’s mock game show.

On a lighter note, Jass talked about silly stunts she pulled as a kid, the fun times she had through the years at the Arcadia church camp her family has supported for the past 80 years, she said, and mentioned her love of community theater.  “I’m a bit of a performer,” she said.

Her husband, Doug Baker, was found playing a game of darts with one of their sons.  He said Jass was a lot of fun to be with.  He failed to comment  on her theater involvement, but he did say, “I knew , the first time I saw her she was a star and it was a matter of time before the world would know.”

Visit Jass’ page on Facebook at:  Stephanie Jass, Jeopardy! Champion and  view her “inside comments” and ask your questions.

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