Conscious party: Trivia night benefits local students

WHAT TO WEAR: Children First/Communities in Schools staff member Barbara Norton, left, brings about half a dozen costumes to the nonprofit's annual trivia event. "She's the spirit guide for the evening," says organizer Jodi Ford, "and she has more costume changes than a Cher concert." Photo courtesy of Children First/CIS

WHAT: Are You Smarter Than an Elementary Student?, a trivia event benefiting Children First/Communities In Schools

WHERE: Morris Hellenic Cultural Center

WHEN: Thursday, April 20, at 6-9 p.m.

WHY: In 2016, Children First/Communities in Schools assisted 4,413 youths whose families were experiencing financial stress. “We provide basic resources,” outreach and engagement coordinator Jodi Ford says, listing food, clothing, transportation, tutoring, health care and child care among the most common needs. The nonprofit also hosts parenting classes and provides emergency financial assistance.

To raise funds for these resources, the merged organization holds an annual trivia event, wherein local businesses and groups of friends can compete for prizes like Navitat zip lining passes or comedic excursions with LaZoom Tours. Raffle and auction items are also up for grabs.

“We are going to have a trivia mistress, Emilie Travis,” Ford says. “Some of the topics will be about [Children First/CIS], but some will be about pop culture. There’s usually a section about music, so she’ll play different songs, and you have to name the artist and song title. Then there’s geography and just general knowledge.”

Participants are encouraged to arrive in costumes based on their chosen team name, and prizes will be awarded for best costume, best team name and most spirited group. About 25 teams competed for these titles in 2016, and Ford says there’s space for even more this year.

“We also have capacity for what we’re calling cheerleaders. These are people who aren’t necessarily going to be on a team, but they can be part of the event, cheer on team members, participate in the silent auction, have food and enjoy the festivities. It ends up being a really fun night.”

Admission costs $300 for a team of up to six trivia participants (Saturday, April 15, deadline) or $30 for a “cheerleader” spectator pass. Either level includes food by Corner Kitchen Catering, Zoe’s Kitchen and Del Vecchios, one alcoholic drink, child care and a gift bag for each person. For more information or to register, visit


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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