A few not-so-trivial pursuits
It was the annual Quiz Night, which had been beautifully planned and put on by John and Bee Perkins to benefit the Genesee Valley Conservancy and Genesee Valley Hunt.
The event was held in the Perkins’ charming storybook wooden barn on the beautiful open space of their farm, which is protected in perpetuity by a GVC conservation easement. Their land fits the first-blush definition of “open space,” as it affords an expansive, uncluttered viewscape. John is a GVC Board member, and Bee is a tireless volunteer.
I love trivia. It showcases the information from those required college courses that seemed irrelevant to my life at the time.
My Quiz Night excitement had been mounting since we received the invitation at the GVC office instructing participants to bring your own table, chairs and dinnerware, as well as the unwritten memo to gather some clever friends and acquaintances to form a team.
The idea was to assemble and come up with a name for a competition “table” of quick-witted, well-read, multi-generational folks who could answer questions such as, “In what order did the Beatles cross the road on their ‘Abbey Road’ album cover?” (John, Ringo, Paul and George, in case you didn’t know. Our table erroneously thought that Paul came second.) There was also “Who was the first man in space?” (Yuri Gagarian. Got that one right!).
When we first sat down, we were handed two pages of random photographs to identify — international flags, sculptures, album covers, blind geographical locations such as Monaco and Tasmania (Got those too).
You could see people hunched over their tables, whispering amongst their teams so as not to give away precious answers by talking too loud. I soon realized the disadvantage of having a table of four, as we had the half- life experience of most of the other eight- person tables (excuses, excuses. I know). All in all, I think our table from the GVC office did well to be within 30 or so points of veteran Quiz Night groups with names like the “Mighty Acorns.”
Maintaining the momentum at fundraising events can be challenging, yet Quizmasters Jeremy Grace and John Lockhart constantly dialed up the entertainment meter with flair and wry wit.
When the Balderdash questions came, with three possible meanings of weird-sounding words, Grace and Lockhart were at their finest, along with Bee Perkins, who always insisted we should vote for her “correct” definition.
Balderdash was the Achilles’ heel of our table. We apparently opted for too many underlying meanings, which turned out to be wrong 100 percent of the time and made our score plummet. All in good fun, however.
Trivial pursuits aside, this enjoyable evening was very much about raising money for serious conservation work in our area.
The Perkins planned and orchestrated a pay-to-come evening with food, drink, and entertainment, all for the benefit of valued community organizations that must raise their own funding every year.
Trust me, putting on an event like this is no small chore, and we at the Genesee Valley Conservancy are ever-grateful for this type of initiative and support.
GVC is essentially a grassroots organization supported and united by community members’ love of this land which embraces and surrounds us.
We thank every one of you who chooses to become a member and/or attend our events, which afford enjoyable and often educational ways to support conservation.
We urge everyone in the community to visit our website at www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org and become a member. You’ll receive notice of the bluebells and other nature walks, as well as events like the Oak Tree run and Quiz Night.
You could also start planning now for next year’s Quiz Night. Gather your table of eight. Practice your trivia. Watch “Jeopardy.”
Participation adds up to help us do the not-so-trivial work of protecting our area’s habitat, open space and farmland. In case anyone asks at Quiz Night next year, that’s GVC’s mission.
Sally Walker is the Executive Director of the Genesee Valley Conservancy, a nationally accredited land trust based in Geneseo which has helped protect more than 13,500 acres of habitat, greenspace and farmland throughout the Genesee Valley. If you have any questions about conservation you’d like addressed, or if you’d like to learn more about conserving your land, email her here.