By Tricia Goecks


Nearly 200 people turned out for the inaugural Trivia Night sponsored by the District 100 Charitable Foundation at the Moose Lodge on Feb. 21 for a night of trivia, camaraderie and joviality that raised money to support the foundation’s mission to provide financial support to enhance and enrich the student experience. The Foundation also oversees the Community Cupboard Food Pantry and provides 80 scholarships to students.

Trivia Night started with a fairly simple concept. Teams of 8 people would answer trivia questions in a variety of topics. To add to the ambiance of the night, teams were encouraged to come dressed in a theme. And they did.

Snow White and the seven dwarves featuring Mike Rogers as Snow White won for the best theme.  Boone County elected officials were present as the Watch Dogs. The Lucky Belvidere Education Association donned Irish hats. Other teams included 50 shades of gray, the questionables, Alpine Aces, thick as thieves, and hippies. Several of the teams brought their own centerpieces to decorate their table.

“What a great turnout. It is light hearted and playful,” Michael Houselog, Belvidere School District #100 superintendent said. “How do you beat this kind of a night?”

“It was such a great turnout for a first year event. It was a lot of fun, and I had a great time,” WREX anchor Kristen Crowley said. Crowley was the MC for the event. She has a personal connection to game shows. Crowley’s mother was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune in the days when contestants could only earn prizes in the game.

As each round progressed through the night, the competition was tight with only a point or two separating the top five teams with the Cosmopolitan Club leading by a point through the first four rounds.

In the final round, the Alpine Aces and Lucky Belvidere Education Association were able to close the gap and tie the game. A first round elimination question eliminated the Alpine Aces. Two more additional elimination rounds continued with no declared winner.

“We thought there could be a tie breaker. We were thinking of ways to do it,” District 100 Charitable Foundation member Don Banks said. Banks wore his IOU cap as he helped proctor Trivia Night. “We were prepared for three overtimes. It was close scoring with all of the teams.”

And in the end, it came down to a question regarding District 100 itself. At the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, what was the enrollment at Belvidere School District 100?

Members of the Cosmopolitan Club immediately began to protest what they perceived as the BEA’s advantage to the question.

The Cosmopolitan Club submitted an answer of 8,080 to the BEA’s answer of 8,401.  With an actual student enrollment of 8,124, the Cosmopolitan Club was declared the victor.

Adding to the BEA’s indignity was the very, very tiny trophy that they won in comparison to the massive trophy given to the first place Cosmopolitan Club. “It went down to the wire. No mulligans,” BEA president Mark Luthin said in reference to one do overs that were allowed.  For one question in each round, team members could submit two answers to a single question and only the correct answer would be scored.

“It was the quintessential team effort. It was the most incredible experience I have had in my entire life.,” J.J. Maville from the Cosmopolitan Club said. “Every team member stepped up with a lot of conviction. We trusted everybody and it was amazing.”

In a post victory post on the Cosmopolitan Club’s Facebook page, the Cosmopolitan Club wrote “We will start with our condolences to the IOU club for losing with grace and dignity.”

“Everyone had a lot of fun so far I have heard nothing but positive comments,” Shannon Hansen, communications coordinator for the district and secretary for the Foundation said.

“I was very pleased with the turnout. It was a great community effort,” Danny Anderson, Foundation president stated.

Houselog praised the Moose Lodge, Hansen, Crowley, Anderson, Greg Brown and Joyce Brown for their efforts in putting trivia night together.

“Hopefully we can do it again next year with a bigger crowd,” Hansen added.

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