homerhorizon.com LIFE & ARTS the Homer Horizon | November 9, 2017 | 17 Trivia Mania benefits Special Olympics Illinois Amanda Del Buono Freelance Reporter Community members, leaders, families and friends tested their knowledge Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Lockport Police Department’s sixth annual Trivia Mania trivia night benefitting Special Olympics Illinois. “We put together this event because we want to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics,” said Debbie Schenk, patrol officer for the Lockport Police Department who organized the event. Trivia Mania is just one of several fundraising events in which the Lockport Police Department participates to benefit the Special Olympics, Schenk said. “We do a lot of things. We do the Culver’s event where we wait tables, we sit on the roof top of Dunkin’ Donuts,” she said. “… We’re on pace to raise about $22,000 this year.” Kicking the evening’s festivities off, 23-year-old Special Olympics medalist Rikki Kirsch, of Shorewood, gave a presentation about the Special Olympics and its relationship with the Lockport Police Department. Then, 13 teams competed in this year’s trivia challenge, the most teams to participate in the event yet, Schenk said. The competition consisted of 10 rounds, each with 10 questions. Lockport Sgt. Brian Phelan acted as the emcee for the evening. Although some of the teams were made up of regular trivia players, others were excited to try something new. Andrew Kahn, a Homer Glen resident, attended the trivia benefit night for the first time on Saturday. “It’s my first time. I had some friends who told me about it, and it sounded like fun,” he said. “… It’s for a good cause, and I thought it would be neat to support the cause and have a good time doing it.” In addition to trivia, the event included dinner and several raffles, which featured items donated by local businesses and community members. However, the cause remained at the core of the event. “It’s important to me that residents, police, everybody understands the importance of what Special Olympics is about,” Schenk said. “It’s a fun event, but also is for a good cause. … And the great thing is, because of all of the donations, everything goes to [Special Olympics].” Among those who attended were several community leaders. State Rep. John Connor said he’s attended the trivia benefit every year since it began. “This is a wonderful event,” he said. “For me, what’s significant this year is I’m playing against my former trivia teammates from the State’s Attorney’s Office. I’ve attended the Special Olympics trivia contest and donated since it started.” Also in attendance were Superintendent of Taft School District 90 Pamela Kibbons and her husband, Shawn Collins. “I’m here because benefitting children and supporting their opportunities [to further their] education is at the heart of what we do in education,” Kibbons said. Collins, battalion chief at the Buffalo Grove Fire Department, added: “Obviously, I came to support my wife, and the Special Olympics is a great cause. Coming to support them is a great opportunity.” Jim Phelan writes an answer for his team Saturday, Nov. 4, During the Special Olympics Illinois Trivia Mania at John Olson American Legion Post 18. Photos by Adam Jomant/22nd Century Media Debbie Schenk (left) and Rikki Kirsch discuss the fundraiser.