Scholarship wins at ‘Quiz Night’ |

Scholarship wins at ‘Quiz Night’

One of the nicer things in life is when good comes from tragedy.

Such is the case with the growing “Brains of Nevada County Quiz Night,” held last Saturday at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. In its fourth year, the trivia contest has seen more and more teams from the community turn out to support the Laura Wilcox Scholarship Fund.

Laura was an honor student who was killed in the Jan. 10, 2001, shooting spree at the Nevada County Behavioral Health office in Nevada City.

The 19-year-old had won a Sierra Club state essay contest scholarship, and about $4,000 was left when she died, said her father, Nick Wilcox. That’s when the South Yuba River Citizens League stepped in.

The late Michael Killigrew was then SYRCL’s board president and asked the Sierra Club to seed a Nevada County scholarship with the leftover funds, Nick Wilcox recalled Monday.

With donations from the family, a large portion of the proceeds from Michael Moore’s books and appearances in Nevada County, and the Quiz Night, the fund has grown to $21,000, and another $8,000 was raised Saturday, Nick Wilcox said.

“It’s really a fun thing and really good for the community,” Nick Wilcox said. “We’re honored that Laura is remembered through it.”

The idea for the quiz night came from Janet Cohen, the outgoing executive director at SYRCL. Quiz nights are a popular way to raise money in her native England, and Cohen though it might catch on here.

“It’s the only one in town, and it gets people working together,” Cohen said. “People like to compete but not be personally put on the


The teams compete by answering 100 trivia questions, broken into 10 different categories ranging from history to sports. Cohen sees to it that the questions are not easy.

The first year, 10 teams crowded into the John Woolman School cafeteria, said Kayle Martin of SYRCL, who organizes the event.

Fifteen teams appeared at the L.O.V.E. Building in 2003, and the pool grew to 18 teams last year. A move to the larger Community/Senior Center at the Fairgrounds was necessary to squeeze in this year’s 24 team tables.

The top 10 teams this year were led by “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” representing the Foothill Theatre Company. Second was Loraine Webb’s “Quizzlers,” followed by the Nevada City Winery’s “Oenous Envy” team.

Fourth place was a tie between environmental group members calling themselves “Spawn of Shawn” (named for a former SYRCL executive director) and the “Daguerre Demolition Company” ” a group of SYRCL board members named in reference to the Yuba’s Daguerre Point Dam. Fifth went to a group of Nevada City residents named “The Mardi Gray Matters”; followed by YubaNet’s “Poulidor Peloton” in sixth; The Union’s “Fish Rappers” in seventh; the “South Yuba Club Funkadelics” in eighth; and the “Bitney Springs Think Tank,” teachers from Bitney Springs High School, in ninth.

The scholarship is offered annually to high school seniors living in the Yuba and Bear River watersheds who have a commitment to the environment and to Laura’s values.

The winner for this year will be named later. Past winners include Nevada Union graduates Joan Dudney, Alexis Bloom and Myfanwy Rowland, all of whom get $1,000 per year for four years of college.

Although Cohen will soon be leaving her post with SYRCL, she plans to return for the annual Quiz Night.

“I’ve got almost all the questions for next year already,” Cohen said. “But I’m not accepting bribes.”


Think you’re smart?

Some questions from this year’s Quiz Night:

1. Which long-running musical TV show featured the following artists during its 27-year run: The Hotsy Totsy Boys, The Lennon Sisters, Tiny Little Jr., The Blenders Quartet, and Peanuts Hucko.

2. What is the longest river flowing into the Mediterranean Sea?

3. What country was previously called Bechuanaland?

4. How many pieces does each player start with in a game of backgammon?

5. Which rock group was named after the English horticulturist who invented the seed drill in 1701?

Scroll down for the answers


1. “The Lawrence Welk Show”

2. The Nile

3. Botswana

4. 15

5. Jethro Tull

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