Your time: Trivia night at The Harp, North Amherst
Gunther Wheeler and the Paperboys: Stu Handel, left, Nick Williams
Mark "Harpo" Power
Mark "Harpo" Power
Harpo's trivia questions
The Rutabagas, clockwise from front: Audrey Braley, Josh Hodge, Astrid O'Connor, Alex Flinn, Ali Glass
Joe Salisbury, left, Dylan Mayer
Every Tuesday, about 100 people descend on The Harp, a pub in North Amherst, for owner Mark “Harpo” Power’s trivia contest.
For the last 11 years, Power has spent hours each week compiling 50 questions for the contest. The event benefits nonprofit organizations like the North Amherst Library and the North Amherst Community Farm, which have been awarded about $2,000 each year.
Power started the contest when he opened The Harp as a way to raise money for local organizations. A friend told him about a pub in New Haven, Conn., that had a trivia night — and Power’s charity was born. Contestants pay a $5 entry fee and compete as teams or individuals. The top five winners split two-thirds to three-quarters of the night’s entry fees and Power donates the rest of the money to the fund, which then goes to the nonprofits.
Last Tuesday, though the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Amherst College were on winter break, Power said he spotted a few members of the UMass rugby teams in the crowd. Club sports such as rugby that receive no funding from the colleges and university have been recipients of trivia contest proceeds.
Katherine Brinkerhoff of Hadley, who said she enjoys collaborating with her friends on trivia, competed on a team with Nick Atallah, Mike Tripp and Peter Kuusisto, all of Amherst.
Audrey Braley, competing with her team, The Rutabagas, described the setting as a nice alternative to the downtown bar scene. “You can relax and sit down. It’s a townie bar,” she said.
Stu Handel, originally of Amherst, who was there competing with his team, Gunther Wheeler and the Paper Boys, pointed out that even when you lose, a worthy cause wins: “If you lose, what did you do? Support the North Amherst Library.”
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