Contest raises smarts, money

February 24, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Who initiated the practice of antiseptic surgery in 1865?

How many weeks are in an Olympiad?

Calvin Broadus is the original name of what popular rapper?

After a few rounds of such questions Sunday afternoon, John DeRonda and his friends were feeling a bit befuddled.

DeRonda and his friends called themselves the Brain Freeze.

"And it hasn't thawed out yet," DeRonda said.

"It's definitely taxing whatever memories I had from school," said team member Krista Steiding of Charles Town, W.Va.

Welcome to the Brain Games, where hundreds of people gather to test their wits while raising money for literacy training.

The sixth annual Brain Games was held at Shepherd College's Rams Den and attracted more than 300 people, said Therese Hess, director of Literacy Volunteers of the Eastern Panhandle.


Players worked in teams of three to six to answer four rounds of questions, each containing 25 brainteasers. Teams were given 15 minutes to answer the questions.

Teams won a point for each correct answer for a possible perfect score of 100.

The winning team was "S Words for $400, Alex," made up of six employees from The Herald-Mail Co. in Hagerstown. The team posted a winning score of 77.

The captain of the team was Bob Fleenor, and included players Scott Butki, Marlo Barnhart, Andrew Schotz, Julie Greene and Dave Thompson.

The Bakerton Brainiacs came in second place with a score of 75 and Brains a Go Go came in third place with 72 points.

Brain Games is the major fund-raiser for Literacy Volunteers, usually bringing in $3,000 to $4,000, Hess said. Literacy Volunteers is a network of local state and regional providers who help people learn to read. Tutoring is provided one-on-one or in small groups.

The money from Brain Games is raised through a $10 entry fee for each player, a used book sale and raffles for about 60 items, Hess said.

Players huddled at individual tables, which spanned across the huge room in the Rams Den.

Members of Civitan Forgettables Too also were shaking their heads after a few rounds of questioning.

"Don't ask us how we're doing," said Civitan Forgettables Too member Chris Crytzer.

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