AP NEWS

Waupun trivia contest heading west: Booster fundraisers accepting contest teams

February 19, 2019

WAUPUN — The Waupun Athletic Booster Club is following the advice of Horace Greeley and going “west” to seek its fortune during the Wild Wild West Team Trivia Challenge on March 8 at 7 p.m.

The third annual event will be held at Waupun Area Junior/Senior High School, 801 E. Lincoln St., with doors open at 5:30 p.m. and trivia starting at 7. The cost is $80 per table, with up to eight people seated at each team’s table. Team registrations are due by March 1.

The Waupun Booster Club started in 1988 and from the start has raised funds to promote Waupun athletics and improve school facilities and equipment. Over the years, many events have been held, including the Lou Pluim Memorial Golf Outing, the scrip gift card program and a bowling event that has been replaced with the trivia contest.

Jackie Clark grew up in Waupun and was involved in athletics long before she joined the district as a teacher 25 years ago. She has stepped down as booster club president now that her son has graduated but still remains active by being the team trivia chair and scrip program coordinator.

“It’s my way of giving back to an organization that supported me in my growth when I was a student here,” Clark said.

The group’s impact is strong and getting stronger.

“We’ve been very successful raising funds, and from the start contributed $5,000 to $6,000 each year,” Clark said. “That was a lot, but more recently we’ve contributed up to $35,000 a year, so we are growing at a phenomenal pace. We give back to our sports programs and build them and give them the equipment and training they need to build a better sports program.”

Over the past 16 years, the group has contributed a total of $300,000, including about $50,000 toward equipment at the new athletic field complex at Waupun High School.

The Waupun event is spiced up by adding a different theme each year. The theme last year was “Hawaiian Luau,” which involved people of all ages dressing according to a favorite theme. One particularly innovative group dressed as characters from “Gilligan’s Island.”

“It was such a great event,” Clark said. “We had 30 teams competing and the high school commons area was packed. It was a great cross-section of Waupun with community members, parents, kids, teachers and others.

“It was a really great feeling to have that much support and we got really positive feedback from the people who participated. We knew that it would get bigger and better, and that’s what we expect will happen this year as well.”

Student-athletes are heavily involved and are eager to participate.

“We particularly want the students to be involved in this event, so they can work with us for a common goal,” Clark said. “Student-athletes are the servers and waiters that night. They help with scoring. They help with concessions. They help as table runners. It’s a great way for them to support their programs as well, and for the community to see them in a different role than they normally do on the court or on the field.”

Expectations are high.

“Our goal is to have 40 teams this year,” Clark said.

Each school sports team also donates a themed raffle basket each valued at more than $200, with more than 24 raffle baskets to win.

“So even if people don’t want to participate in the trivia event, they can come and watch, try their luck in the 50/50 and basket raffles and enjoy food from local vendors including Buffalo Wild Wings and Tony’s Pizza,” Clark said.

The food will not necessarily be western, but costumes and decorations certainly will be.

There will be prizes for the best-dressed student and adult teams. All are encouraging to dress in Western theme, in cowboy attire and whatever else they can come up with.

“The Wild Wild West was one of the themes that came out of a survey we did last year, so we’ll see what people come up with,” Clark said. “Who knows what people will find when they dig in their closets? The seed has been planted, so we’ll see what happens.”

There will be ranch decor and whatever else organizers can come up with.

Last year, the second event raised almost $8,000, which will be added to this year’s total to help purchase new scoreboards for the gym at Rock River Intermediate School, among other expenditures.

All are welcome and encouraged to field a team or just to attend. Registration is due March 1.

“You don’t have to be from Waupun,” Clark said. “It will be a cheap night of entertainment with fun for everyone who attends. It’s such a feel-good thing with so much laughter and positivity. It allows us to help our athletic programs, and our schools, to get better and better.”

To register or for more information, contact Clark at 920-324-0684 or email jclark@waupun.k12.wi.us.