Friends of Special Citizens and the Bayou Civic Club are teaming up to continue an 18-year tradition of fun, fundraising, and excitement! Trivia Night is back after taking a one-year hiatus.
This great event is being held March 28th at its new home, the Larose Civic Center.
"We didn't have Trivia Night last year," says Louis Griffin, founder of Friends of Special Citizens. "It's a lot of work putting together such a great event enjoyed by so many people, and last year my health wasn't so great.”
Griffin is a perfectionist and knows planning, organizing and putting on such a large event can take its toll.
"There is so much stress and too much pressure! I am a perfectionist and want to put on the best possible show we can," he adds. "People attend the event and come back if they have a good time and we make money for Friends of Special Citizens.”
Trivia Night has morphed into a huge event and is the only fundraiser for the non-profit. In its first year, Trivia Night was held at The Center with only 13 teams paying a $10 entry fee. At its last showing at the Cut Off Youth Center, Trivia Night boasted 109 teams with a $180 entry fee.
Every penny earned through Trivia Night goes towards helping special citizens in our community. Funds are used for travel to Special Olympic games, entry fees, hotels, holiday parties at The Center, The Lafourche Arc Plaisance Center in Lockport, and Lafourche Arc Grenier Center in Thibodaux. Funds are also used for field trips and outings.
"In May we brought 100 people to Global Wildlife," says Griffin. “And, twice a year we go to a movie and lunch in Houma.”
Nearly 30 years ago, Griffin's daughter asked him some questions that he just couldn't answer.
"My daughter asked me why she didn't have a dance at her school, like other kids had at their schools," says Griffin. "I thought, but couldn't answer her. I didn't know why she didn’t have a dance at her school. So, I got on the board at The Center and started making some noise," he added.
And Griffin's noise was indeed heard by the community! Friends of Special Citizens was formed as 501(c)3 and the activities began!
Since the founding of the non-profit, The Center has held a prom every Spring, complete with tuxedos, corsages and crowning of a prom king and queen. Thirty years of prom! There are pep rallies for Saint's games, carnival balls and Wii bowling leagues.
"We transformed from a sort of 'baby sitting service' to a 'doing something service' in the way we interacted with our special needs citizens," he says. "Special needs people want to feel worthwhile, they want to feel valued and that makes them feel good.”
Friends of Special Citizens had sewing machines repaired at The Center. They purchased computers. Things changed at the Center. Griffin's wife, Patsy was an instructor at The Center for 30 years and was a witness to the positive changes.
When Louis Griffin started Trivia Night 18 years ago, he had his share of nay-sayers.
"People told me that it wouldn't work," says Griffin. "Boy did we prove them wrong. Trivia Night generates $25,000 to $35,000," he adds with a sense of amazement. "I have shown people in Shreveport and Lafayette how to conduct this great fundraiser for their areas and it has even grown and expanded there.”
This year's Trivia Night features Senator Norby Chabert and State Representative Jerry "Truck" Gisclair as its emcees. Teams are encouraged to come dressed in costumes or funny attire which is sure to make for an interesting evening!
Trivia Night features 10 categories with 10 questions each. Teams of six will compete for the top prize -- The Championship Team will receive an award and bragging rights.
Contestants can feast on jambalaya, white beans, grillades, concession items as well as something to quench their thirst from the cash bar.
"We are very excited and honored to be partnering with such a great organization. Friends of Special Citizens is one those great groups working hard in our community for the betterment of others and we are proud to partner with them this year," says Jasmine Ayo, Larose Civic Center Executive Director. "We will feature a 50/50 raffle and silent auction this year to help generate additional funds for the organization.”
Trivia Night can only expand as big as the building that houses it, so space is a commodity. Teams of six must pre-register prior to the event to ensure a spot in the competition. Forms can downloaded from the Larose Civic Center's website, bayoucivicclub.org, or by calling the office at (985) 693-7355.
Posted on Fri, January 30, 2015
by Marc Kimball, Contributing Writer