Brains fight brain cancer


The fifth Teen Trivia Night, run by sophomore Emily Lemkuil, took place on Friday, April 13. KO hosts the annual event to raise money for the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance (CTBTA), raising around $2700 this year.

Emily’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer years ago, so the Lemkuil family decided to do something at KO to raise awareness and money. Emily’s older brothers, Austin ’16 and Andrew ’16, started the event five years ago after their grandparents started an adult trivia night for the community. It was originally started because their mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“My mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was four years old, so she joined the Brain Tumor Alliance,” said Emily, “so we just always tried to do things for CTBTA and do whatever we can.” Emily realized her mother was sick when she had turned around and found her collapsed on the floor. She was young, not realizing what was going on, but her mother had two surgeries and is now in remission.

“It’s not as difficult for me now that I’m older, so I don’t feel as much pain because of it, but sometimes I worry about her,” Emily said. “A few years ago, she had to go back on chemo, and I remember being at summer camp and crying. It’s just been something my family’s had to deal with.” Teen Trivia Night proved to be a success, raising about $2,700.

History teacher David Baker was the emcee for the night; in addition, Middle School history teacher Jim Weeks created the questions. Mr. Baker also put together the music for the night. Local restaurants like Restaurant Bricco, First and Last Tavern, and AC Peterson’s all catered the event.

Teams were made of three to nine people, and were split up by table. Each team was named after the candy that was in the jar in the center of the table.The trivia was arranged into five rounds of five questions, where teams could wager one to 10 points per question. There were categories ranging from fashion, food and beverage to professional sports; additionally, there was a picture round where students had to match brand logos to names. There was a final question as well, where teams could wager points already earned. In order to win the points, the team had to name 12 out of 20 presidents from the 20th century.

Each member of the placing teams got a cash prize, with third place going for $10 each, second for $20 each, and first for $30 each. The rest of the money was donated. The night was well-received, and students from both Kingswood Oxford and other local schools enjoyed the trivia tournament. Many people were also happy to be helping support the CTBTA.

Elli Haskes, a junior from Cheshire High School who had lost her mother to a brain tumor when she was seven, also gave a speech at the event. She talked about happy and sad memories that she had from when her mother was alive. “Being in support of the CTBTA was an extremely satisfactory experience,” said freshman Sydney Dwyer, a member of the Twix team. “The speaker was very inspirational and passionate about the cause.”

Sophomore Marcella Delldonna, a member of the Sixlets team, said she enjoyed the night as well. Her team didn’t win, but she said she enjoyed meeting new people and being a part of the team. “It was a very inspirational event,” said Marcella. Emily was pleased by the event, and is excited to do it again in subsequent years. “I thought it was a really successful night, and I was really happy with the turnout,” she said.