Trivia night promotes interest in history

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 116 views 

Contestants didn’t have to grow up in Rogers to know that Chubby Checker encouraged listeners to do “The Twist.” Or that actor Roy Scheider played the leading role in “Jaws.”

However, being from Rogers offered a distinct advantage when answering questions such as “Who was the Rogers men’s head basketball coach in 1966?” (The answer: Gene Bland.)

More than 70 local residents tested their knowledge of businesses, schools and community leaders from Rogers’ past in a May 16 fundraiser. The event was billed as Rogers Trivia Night, and local attorney and community leader David Matthews served as master of ceremonies for the event.

Participants jotted answers on a scrap of paper and then those who answered correctly were allowed to drop their signed papers into a basket for selection in a drawing. More than 20 prizes, donated by local businesses, were given away.

Matthews used knowledge of area history in his comments. He praised the commitment to preservation that had resulted in the restoration of the Victory Theater, where the fundraising event was conducted. After asking who played the female lead opposite James Dean in “Rebel without a Cause” (Answer: Natalie Wood), Matthews asked a follow-up query: “How many of you saw ‘Rebel without a Cause’ right here in Victory Theater?” A number of hands shot up.

The May 16 event marked the second occasion that the Friends of the Rogers Historical Museum have held the fundraiser to support the museum.

Linda Tonkinson, a member of the Friends group, said that everyone was amazed last year at the gifts and prizes awarded and the event proved so much fun that organizers chose to offer a second annual Trivia Night.

James Hales, president of the Friends of the Rogers Historical Museum, said the group had established a $1,300 fundraising goal for this year’s event. The activity has multiple purposes, he noted. In addition to providing some additional funds for the museum, the activity also provides an occasion to socialize and increases awareness about the museum.

The Friends of the Rogers Historical Museum was founded in 1976 to support and promote the Museum and to help preserve the rich heritage of Rogers, Ark., according to The Friendly Note, a monthly publication of the group.