We Tested Their Wits with Our Trivia Challenge

We Tested Their Wits with Our Trivia Challenge

December 12, 2018
Glenmeadow Trivia Challenge Team

What gun manufacturer launched its business in Springfield, growing into one of the largest in the world?

True or false: Glenmeadow at Home will walk your dog, clean your cat’s litterbox, and drive you to an appointment at the veterinarian.

Name a famous Broadway musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

These are the kinds of questions that contestants had to contend with in our trivia challenge event on November 28. As part of Test of Wits: A Trivia Challenge for Older Adults—the final Glenmeadow Learning program for the fall—18 residents of Greater Springfield stepped up to compete for two tickets to a Glenmeadow Getaways program of their choice.

After three separate rounds, each with six new contestants, the six highest overall scorers—two per round—took part in our Final Exam, a final round of additional questioning, from which Peter Frodema of Hampden walked away victorious. A total of 34 area residents were part of the fun in Sleith Hall at Western New England University.

Tony Cignoli, president of the A.L. Cignoli Company in Springfield, led the event, posing the queries to contestants in these categories: Arts and Culture, Broadway, Glenmeadow, Health and Wellness, Springfield History, and Politics.

With longtime, broad knowledge of local history, politics and culture, Tony clearly enjoyed impersonating Jeopardy host Alex Trebek—as the event was loosely modeled after a Jeopardy episode. Tony also often had additional tidbits of information to enhance contestants’ knowledge.

In asking which model of Rolls-Royce was produced in Springfield, for instance, Tony was able to embellish on the correct answers, Silver Ghost and Phantom, by saying that local philanthropist S. Prestley Blake owns many of those models and that they are also featured in the PBS series Downton Abbey.

Other highlights of the event included amusing commentary by Torrie Dearborn, of our Marketing department. Torrie helped Julie Jediny, also on staff in marketing, keep score, and Torrie led a Let’s-Make-a-Deal-type game during the short breaks between each of the game rounds, asking folks in the audience to produce such things as a business card, a key fob, a key chain with more than 10 keys, or argyle socks; participants who had what Torrie was looking for received Glenmeadow pot holders, coffee mugs, and tote bags.

Torrie introduced a good deal of humor into the event. At turns, she would shush the audience, if people were yelling hints, or encourage participants.

“No stress, Marilyn,” she told one contestant who was worried about a wrong answer. “Take a deep breath. This is fun.”

Also adding entertainment value was Brian Srebnick, the owner of Brian Nicks Productions—our sound guy. As contestants wrote their answers on miniature white boards they held in their hands, Brian played snipped of songs that added to the anticipation—such as the Jeopardy theme song and themes from famous television sitcoms and Broadway musicals.

Test of Wits was the last of the four programs we offered this fall through Glenmeadow Learning, one of many free programs we offer to members of the wider community. These presentations represent only one facet of our life plan community’s mission to serve seniors across the region and to operate as a socially accountable organization.

In case you were wondering about the answers to the questions at the beginning of this blog, here they are:

  • Smith &Wesson
  • True
  • Cats, Evita, or Jesus Christ Superstar

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