Match Wits, the friendly, fun trivia competition hosted by Project: LEARN of Medina County, was held April 11, at Coppertop at Cherokee Hills County Club in Valley City.
The evening began with a buffet dinner prepared by the Coppertop staff; Discount Drug Mart sponsored the desserts provided by Gabrielle Breyley of Calli's Cupcakes and More. PolyOne Corporation, Medina Sunrise Rotary, Project: LEARN, Antiquation, and The Phia Group were also event sponsors.
Guests were able to make bids on themed baskets, purchase 50/50 raffle tickets which this year included a bottle of wine, and buy tickets for the Wine Pull coordinated by David Arbogast and Marilyn Stano, along with their committee of Brenda Arnold, Rich Bidinger, Lynsey Curren, Joyce Drotos, Rita Garry Esposito, Drew Hall, Kelley Jones, Connie Kubis, Mary Mauerer, Noel Offie, and Leah Schrock.
Winner of the 50/50 raffle ($270) was Judge Mary Kovack; she immediately donated the money right back to Project: LEARN!
Project: LEARN Executive Director Karla Robinson and Board President Darci Jay made opening remarks to the large audience before the competition began, and later graciously thanked everyone for their support. In the end, more than $8,000 was raised to support adult literacy tutoring in Medina County.
For more than 36 years, Project: LEARN has served Medina County adults who need assistance learning to read, learning English as a second language, or practicing for the GED test.
Now in its ninth year, 17 teams consisting of up to eight players each participated by answering the challenging questions posed by quizmaster/host, Medina County Auditor Michael Kovack.
Specific topic gurus were available to assist the teams for a portion of the game. All the teams were trying to oust last year's returning champs, Medina Sunrise Rotary.
The team from PolyOne Corporation emerged victorious, missing only three points out of 48 total possible. They not only get bragging rights, but also one-of-a-kind trophies created by Eric Schultz of Antiquation in Medina. Tying for second place, just one point behind the winners, were The Wadsworthys and The Faculty Lounge. Third place this year went to Team Tri-C.
This year's categories and gurus were: Chris DellaCourt/NASA engineer, for "Space: The Final Frontier;" Melanie Wurm/Mel's Sweet Shop owner, offered her expertise for "Candy and Candy- making;" Yoga instructor Megan Krebs/Roots Yoga and Barre, served as the expert for "There's No Place Like Om;" assistant retail manager Kristen O'Brien/A.I. Root Candle Company, lent her expertise to "Will You Light My Candle?" Karl Gerhard/Post Newspaper Food Columnist, gave assistance in "Lettuce Get Eggcited;" Sportwriter Scott Petrak/Medina Gazette and Elyria Chronicle Telegram, for "Cleveland Browns History;" Sommelier Lynsey Curren shared her vast knowledge about wine in "On Cloud Wine;" and Alex Kubinski, for "Where in the World?"
Special thanks went to the planning committee members and volunteers who made Match Wits possible: Diane Shreve, Pat Neuendorff, Denise Laux, Sandra Brown, Bonnie Gomes, Pete Benson, Gina Sorgi, Joanne Johnson, Emily Ingersoll, Kelli Ingersoll, Linda Vaughn, Janet Grimm, Joe Burns, Cheri Burns, Marilyn Stano, Dave Arobgast, Kelly Dempsey, Kathy Mesick, Laurie Mobley, and Lisa Baker.
The evening closed with Director Karla Robinson announcing she would be leaving this position; the following day was to be her last as Project: LEARN director. She said it has been her privilege to serve in this capacity for the past five and a half years, and she would miss everyone, but hopes she'll still see friends around town.