by Kurt Woock
Writer for and on behalf of the City of Glendale
Who was Tom Cruise’s first wife?
If you know the answer to either of those questions, consider attending Trivia Night, a fundraiser for the YMCA of Glendale and for the Glendale Youth Rugby programs, which will be held on July 22 in the International Ballroom of the Infinity Park Event Center.
Trivia Night began 851 miles away in St. Louis. Mike Boese grew up there. As he puts it, “On any given weekend, there’s probably 20 different nonprofit trivia events going on.” There’s a website dedicated to keeping track of them. The events are a true community effort. “Most of these events are in a Catholic school gymnasium,” he said. “It’s a potluck evening.”
Boese and his family moved to Denver about five years ago. He works as a financial advisor with Country Financial. He joined the Glendale Chamber of Commerce to meet people, and soon found himself on the local Y’s board of directors. Last year, he pitched the idea of hosting a trivia event for a fundraiser to Nicole Limoges, executive director for the YMCA Sports Branch & the Glendale Sports Center at Infinity Park. She told him to run with it. “From my point of view, I owe so much of this to Mike. He really threw his expertise into this. This was all his idea.”
Following the St. Louis template, last year’s Trivia Night was a potluck event, with Boese as MC, and was held in the Denver Jewish Day School gym. Boese even recruited his Aunt Colleen to travel from St. Louis to help keep score. It was a success, as 65 people brought dishes to share and took their shot at trivia glory. “Not only are you able to give back, but you have a pretty good time doing it.”
Giving back is at the core of the event. Limoges said the goal is to raise $20,000, which will be split between the YMCA and the Glendale Youth Rugby programs. “The YMCA serves the Glendale community, and there are families in need,” Boese said. “They need scholarships, otherwise they couldn’t take advantage of these programs.”
A few changes are in store for this year’s event. First, the event won’t be in a school or church basement or gym: The City of Glendale has donated use of the International Ballroom at Infinity Park Event Center. “This year, a lot of credit goes to Linda Cassaday (Glendale’s Deputy City Manager) for getting on board and saying ‘we’re going to step up and make a difference.’” Also, the potluck has been replaced by a catered dinner from one of the night’s sponsors, Biscuits & Berries. Guests will also receive two drink tickets, and a cash bar will be available all night. Tickets for the night costs $40 for an individual, $75 for couple, and $300 for a team of 8. People or companies can sponsor the entire night, or even just a round of questions.
After an hour of food, drink, and socializing, the trivia begins. If all goes well, Aunt Colleen will again be on hand. “She and I have been working on putting together questions,” Boese said. Boese will lead the crowd of up to 300 in 10 rounds of 10 questions each. He said for each round, he tries to include two questions that nearly everyone can answer and two questions that are unquestionably difficult. The rest of the questions are where the night is won or lost.
Traditionally, each round has a theme. For some rounds, each clue involves a video, photo, or audio clip; a good pairing given the International Ballroom’s A/V capabilities. Short breaks between rounds are an opportunity for other entertainment. This year, there will be a silent auction, with opportunities to bid between rounds. Last year, guests had the option to participate in a “last person standing” type game in which Boese reads the name of a public figure, and participants guessed whether that person was currently living. After each name, those who guessed incorrectly sat down. Those who guessed correctly played another round. The last person standing won half of the total one-dollar entry fees collected (which that person ended up donating to the night’s total proceeds).
In the end, though, the main competition is for the trivia crown. Each table of 8 works together. Last year’s winning score was in the low 80s out of a possible 100 (though tables are able to purchase one mulligan per round).
In just its second year, Trivia Night has the markings of an annual tradition.
Two more important pieces of information: The day before the MLB All Star Game and the day after are bad days to watch sports: Nobody is playing. And on May 9, 1987, Tom Cruise married Mimi Rogers.