I had the pleasure to attend the Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley's Trivia Bee for Literacy on March 24. If you haven't been able to go, I'd recommend it. Did you know a unicorn is on the Scottish coat of arms?
Not only were the questions difficult and interesting, but the event exuded warm hospitality from the hosts, or I should say the pilot and co-pilot leading the way: Jane Shelton, the audiovisual and e-content librarian for the St. Charles Public Library, and Jill Ackles, who is a television director in the greater Los Angeles area.
The theme of the contest was all things international, and FONA International in Geneva was decked out in decorations and props suggesting airline travel. The questions also fit the bill with surprising facts about our neighbors around the world.
Out of the 50 or so questions, the Shaw Media teammates, comprised of veteran reporter Brenda Schory, Suburban Life reporter Mary Stroka and yours truly, were able to answer a little more than half of them correctly. Which isn't half bad, but not wholly satisfying compared to our challengers.
Sadly, the journalists in attendance were left in the book-jacket dust by the librarians who competed. Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley Executive Director Peg Coker called it a "library sweep."
The Know-It-Owls from Batavia Public Library, comprised of Library Director George Scheetz, page Aria Guilbeau-Horton and Cindy Peterson of circulation services, won the whole shebang, but only after fighting off fierce competition from the Circulating the Globe team from the St. Charles Public Library. Librarians (surprise) took third place with Where in the Ever-lovin' Blue-eyed World from the Geneva Public Library.
It should be noted that each of the library teams was sponsored by its respective friends organization: Friends of the Batavia Public Library, Friends of the St. Charles Public Library and Friends of the Geneva Public Library.
Now I consider myself to be proficient in the arena of trivia, having honed my skills on re-runs of "Jeopardy!" and other, lesser quiz shows, but the Know-It-Owls, being true to their name, seemed to have known it all. When it came down to the second tiebreaker round, they were able to toss off names of several of the countries bordering the Baltic Sea, further evidence of their mental fortitude.
Beyond being highly amusing and a great way to spend a Saturday morning, the event also raised money for an organization that does good in the community by providing one-on-one tutoring to help people learn to read, write, understand and speak English better. For those interested in volunteering or just finding out more information, visit www.lvfv.org.