By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The dictionary definition of “trivia” is “unimportant facts.” That word carries more significance for an upcoming fundraiser. On Friday, Nov. 14, the Shrewsbury Education Foundation (SEF) will host its third annual Trivia Night at the Knights of Columbus Hall to raise funds for educational initiatives outside of the school budget and curriculum.
Teams of four adults will accept the challenge to answer 10 rounds of 10 questions on various topics. Once again serving as event chair is Mary Aicardi.
“Game night is a good excuse to go out and have fun,” she said. “A lot of the teams are two couples or four friends. It’s an inexpensive night out and you’re helping the schools.”
Returning as emcee is Hank Stolz of WCRN-AM 830, Aicardi noted.
“Hank is charming, funny, smart and always willing to donate his time to the community,” she said. “He has done trivia nights for years at different venues in and around Worcester. We’re really lucky to have him.”
SEF committee member Brenda Buckley is again working together with Stolz to develop trivia questions. Among the topics that have been tackled in past years are music, pop culture, New England history, science and sports.
“All teams participate throughout the whole evening,” Aicardi explained. “It’s all about your score at the end of the night.”
The highest scoring team members last year were Bob Fryc, Scott Spangenberg, and John and Judy Vedder.
“They’re geniuses,” Aicardi proclaimed of last year’s champs. “They stacked their team and they did very well. The key is to be strategic about who’s on your team.”
The committee also wants participants to know how adaptable Trivia Night is for everyone involved.
“This year we’re encouraging everyone to have team spirit, however they want to do that,” Aicardi said. “Last year we started to see teams come in wearing the same hats, another team wore Hawaiian leis, and some people have come up with fun names for their team.”
Some of last year’s clever participants incorporated alliteration into their team names such as the Four Fabulous Females and the Eclectic Electric Eccentrics.
Among those planning to compete is Melanie Petrucci, who currently serves as SEF co-president with Chris Juetten.
“There’s really no way to prepare to compete on Trivia Night,” Petrucci said with a laugh. “It’s really just a matter of good luck.”
What actually matters most to SEF is raising funds to continue its mission of awarding grants to educators.
“We’re heading into grant season right now,” Petrucci explained. “Teachers in the public schools submit an application with a grant proposal. We have a review committee from members of our board and we select what we think are the most viable grants. The primary criteria is the longevity of the grant, and how many students the grant will reach during its lifetime.”
Last year SEF presented 10 grants totaling $11,802.00.
SEF is seeking sponsors to cover the costs of Trivia Night. Businesses and individuals interested in tax-deductible sponsorship, which includes signage and acknowledgment at the event, can contact Petrucci at 508-341-9382 or email@example.com.
Trivia Night begins with a happy half hour at 6:30 p.m.; the game starts at 7. Cost is $80 per team; $5 per spectator. Cheese and pepperoni pizza will be available for $10 each. The first 32 teams who submit payment will be registered. Mail check payable to “SEF” by Monday, Nov. 10 to: SEF Trivia Night, c/o Mary Aicardi, 11 Whippoorwill Dr., Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or register by email at SEFTrivia@gmail.com. Late registration may be accepted if space allows.
For more information, visit sefgrants.org.