On Friday, Feb. ,1 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. students of all ages gathered to compete in the annual CT Brain Tumor Alliance (CTBTA) Teen Trivia Night in Mead Dining Hall. Six years ago, Austin Lemkuil ’16 and Andrew Lemkuil ’16 started this event because their mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now, junior Emily Lemkuil continues the event to raise awareness and money for the CTBTA.
Form 3 Dean and history teacher David Baker has been the emcee for the event for the past six years – since the first trivia night. He said that this year, they had the biggest turnout with 14 teams. Each team was assigned a table with a picture of a board game on it, which became their team identifier. “Every year we have a different theme like countries or candies, and this year we chose games,” Emily said.
Mr. Baker said that each year he writes all of the questions, organizes the rounds, asks the questions and plays the music. In past years, former history teacher Jim Weeks would co-host the event with him and help him with these tasks. Mr. Baker said that Mr. Weeks did help him come up with questions this year again but virtually because Mr. Weeks moved to Canada. Mr. Baker also said that he had help from Spanish teacher Beau Macksoud at the actual event. Each member of the team brought a different skill set to the table and junior Matthew Maratollo brought a lot of knowledge about geography to his team. “A lot of the questions were centered around geography, which was very helpful for me and my team,” Matthew said.
Matthew said there were other areas where he and his group struggled more. “The picture round was especially challenging because there were a lot of unrecognizable photos that you had to take a wild guess on,” he said.
Team Monopoly came in second place, earning $20 each at the end of the night, falling short to a team of students from an outside school. “Our team donated all of our winnings to the organization at the end of the night,” junior Ethan Pinkes said.
Senior Josh Leshem said that the highlight of his night was actually when his team, team Chutes and Ladders, answered a question wrong. “My favorite part was when we had gotten a bunch of questions right in a row and then there was a new one and Aidan said he knew it, so he immediately wrote an answer down and sprinted up to Mr. Baker only to find out that the answer was wrong.”
Josh added that he and his table had a lot of fun answering the trivia questions and it paid off because they earned third place. Junior James Ravalese said that he and his teammates disagreed with the supposedly correct answer to one of the questions. “David Baker does not know what a website is,” he said. “One of the questions we were asked was something like: name five of the top ten social media sites. We decided not to put Snapchat because it’s not a site, but in the end it was a correct answer. We were very upset.”
Junior Jaden DiMauro has come in second place every year that he has participated in the event, but he remains hopeful for next year’s trivia night. “My favorite part of the night was the competition and the great cause we’re supporting,” he said. “This was my third year in a row finishing second, and I hope to finally win next year.”
Freshman Caroline Dawson was also disappointed with her team’s performance. “We were Team Mouse Trap and we didn’t do too well but we still had a good night,” she said. “The food was really good, and they brought in a very interesting speaker who spoke about her personal experience with brain tumors.”
Member of Team Uno sophomore Cici Chagnon also shared one of the most interesting questions from the night. “The final question was kind of fun because it was very high stakes,” she said. “It was to name seven Canadian provinces and the capital of Canada. We got it wrong.”
Matthew said this was not his first year attending the event. “I wanted to participate because I have been going to the event for a few years ,and it’s obviously for a great cause,” he said. “The Lemkuils always make it run smoothly, and they do a great job organizing the event.”