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Team from DA’s office wins its case at Amherst Trivia Bee

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Members of the Amherst Historical Society team, from left, Cathy Harraghy, Phil Shaver, Tim Neale, and Fred Luddy, cheer after answering a question correctly during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

    SARAH GANZHORN
    Members of the Amherst Historical Society team, from left, Cathy Harraghy, Phil Shaver, Tim Neale, and Fred Luddy, cheer after answering a question correctly during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School. Purchase photo reprints »

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Rigali and Walder Orthodontics team member Laurie Heon, left, writes down the answer to a question while teammate Tori Ames looks on during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

    SARAH GANZHORN
    Rigali and Walder Orthodontics team member Laurie Heon, left, writes down the answer to a question while teammate Tori Ames looks on during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School. Purchase photo reprints »

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Teams, judges, and audience members gaze up at a question during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

    SARAH GANZHORN
    Teams, judges, and audience members gaze up at a question during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School. Purchase photo reprints »

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>State Representative Ellen Story reads a question out loud during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

    SARAH GANZHORN
    State Representative Ellen Story reads a question out loud during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School. Purchase photo reprints »

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Members of the Greenfield Savings Bank team, from left, Mick Loughran, Tom Rice, Becky Lang, and Kyle Dumas, do the Wave after answering a question correctly during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

    SARAH GANZHORN
    Members of the Greenfield Savings Bank team, from left, Mick Loughran, Tom Rice, Becky Lang, and Kyle Dumas, do the Wave after answering a question correctly during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School. Purchase photo reprints »

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Judy Brooks, serving as a judge, waits for the answer to a question to be revealed during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

    SARAH GANZHORN
    Judy Brooks, serving as a judge, waits for the answer to a question to be revealed during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School. Purchase photo reprints »

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Members of The Pub's team, from left, Mary Streeter, Alan Powell, Mary Gorman, and Denise Harvey, puzzle over a question during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

    SARAH GANZHORN
    Members of The Pub's team, from left, Mary Streeter, Alan Powell, Mary Gorman, and Denise Harvey, puzzle over a question during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School. Purchase photo reprints »

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Members of the Amherst Historical Society team, from left, Cathy Harraghy, Phil Shaver, Tim Neale, and Fred Luddy, cheer after answering a question correctly during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.
  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Rigali and Walder Orthodontics team member Laurie Heon, left, writes down the answer to a question while teammate Tori Ames looks on during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.
  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Teams, judges, and audience members gaze up at a question during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.
  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>State Representative Ellen Story reads a question out loud during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.
  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Members of the Greenfield Savings Bank team, from left, Mick Loughran, Tom Rice, Becky Lang, and Kyle Dumas, do the Wave after answering a question correctly during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.
  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Judy Brooks, serving as a judge, waits for the answer to a question to be revealed during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.
  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Members of The Pub's team, from left, Mary Streeter, Alan Powell, Mary Gorman, and Denise Harvey, puzzle over a question during the Amherst Education Foundation's 19th annual Trivia Bee Thursday night at Amherst Regional Middle School.

The team consisted of Assistant District Attorney Michael McHale, his daughter, Delia McHale, University of Massachusetts Associate Professor of Japanese Amanda Seaman and her son, Ben Gilsdorf. Armed with their knowledge of jousting being the state sport of Maryland and the use of Necco wafers by soldiers in the American Civil War, the group beat out the other two final teams, which were sponsored by A.J. Hastings Inc. and the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve been here before, but this is the first time we won, so it feels really good,” said Gilsdorf, 14.

A total of 27 teams sponsored by town businesses competed in three rounds of questions on history, sports, movies and local trivia read by Rep. Ellen Story in the gymnasium of the Amherst Regional Middle School. Amherst Education Foundation co-president Clare Bertrand estimated the bee to have raised $8,500 for the Amherst Regional Schools, about $500 more than last year, she said.

After Story read each question, the teams were given around 30 seconds to confer with their teammates and write down an answer to show the judges. Among the questions that got a rise out of the crowd were the science fiction film Lucille Ball helped produce — the answer being “Star Trek” — and the stage name of Richard Starkey — the answer being Ringo Starr.

Teams who knew Henry H. Bliss’ cause of death in 1899 — the first person to die in the United States by this particular means — stood up and cheered when the answer was revealed. Bliss was the first person in the country to die of a car accident after being hit by an electric car in New York City.

Many seemed to be caught off guard by the question of how many spinoffs of the original “Law and Order” have been on television. Nearly all of the teams answered three, but the answer was four.

“That’s a hard one,” Story said.

The team sponsored by A.J. Hastings, consisting of Jim Hanson, Jamie Isler, Patrick Hunter and Jodi Stevens, won the first round after answering 10 out of the 15 questions correctly. The team sponsored by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, consisting of Tony Maroulis, Laurie Kline, Phill Ciccarelli and Joan Temkin, won the second round after answering eight questions correctly, and the district attorney’s team won Round 3 with 12 correct answers.

Maroulis, the chamber’s executive director, said he knew most of the questions he answered, such as which show aired the first interracial kiss in 1968 (“Star Trek,” between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura) from watching television.

“I guess it pays off somewhere,” he said.

Some teams were recognized for the creativity of their costumes and their shows of enthusiasm. Among the winners of “best costume” for the night were the team sponsored by Integrity Development & Construction Inc., which consisted of Town Manager John Musante and Select Board members Alisa Brewer, Diana Stein and Stephanie O’Keeffe dressed as Town Hall. Brewer, Stein and Keeffe wore tall cardboard hats resembling brick buildings, and Musante dressed as himself.

The team sponsored by the Amherst Club, consisting of Andrea Battle, Harrison Gregg, Arthur Kinney and Ruth Miller, was among the winners of “most spirited.” The group dressed as cats, and each held a letter to make up the word “MEOW,” which they raised while making meowing sounds in lieu of cheering between questions.

“You can’t keep a good cat down,” Miller said.

Bertrand called the event well-attended in light of competition from Game 2 of the World Series. Story, who admitted she read the questions hastily so as to catch some of the game, said she thought the event went “beautifully.”

“Another smash success,” Story said.

I was there, the DA's office did very well, as did the other finalists. The teenagers on the DA's office team did really well!

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