West Hartford resident Emily Lemkuil, a sophomore at Kingswood Oxford School, hosted ‘Teen Trivia Night’ on April 13 as a fundraiser for the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance.
Submitted by Madeline Arcaro, Kingswood Oxford ’21
KO sophomore Emily Lemkuil hosted a very successful Teen Trivia Night, and the annual event at the West Hartford school, now in its fifth year, raised approximately $2,800 for the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance (CTBTA).
Emily’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a decade ago, and 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, following in the footsteps of their grandparents who had 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.”
Kingswood Oxford history teacher David Baker was the emcee for the night, and also put together the music. Middle School history teacher Jim Weeks created the questions. Local restaurants, including Restaurant Bricco, First and Last Tavern, and A.C. Petersen Farms, 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. In addition, 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 received a prize. The rest of the money raised from the event was donated to the CTBTA.
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 KO 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.
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