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It’s shaping up to be an epic battle of wits – with the community's most knowledgeable, experienced, and competitive citizens squaring off to claim the title of “Lewiston Jeopardy” champions.
Four teams are diligently studying and sharpening their skills for the big showdown at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Brickyard Brewing Company, 436 Center St. There will be general audience participation, as well.
The Historical Association of Lewiston and the BBC are teaming up to present the “Lewiston Jeopardy Beer and Pizza Night fundraiser,” a contest of intellect and speed that will showcase local residents competing for prizes and bragging rights.
One interesting match-up will again pit two former political rivals against each other.
Retired Air Force colonel and former Village Trustee Bruce Sutherland will lead the Lewiston VFW team, along with retired local physician John Clark and Lewiston native Rich Coppins.
Approaching the big night, Sutherland said, “We’re ready – either for the beer, or the game. Either way, we’ll be in jeopardy!”
Sutherland’s squad will square off against Mayor Anne Welch’s team. She will be joined by her colleague, Trustee Victor Eydt, and village Historian Russ Piper.
Welch said, “This should be a fun night and we are looking forward to a big win! We have some tough competition, but hopefully we will prevail. Let the games begin!”
Another team will be sponsored by Lund Leather, a local handbag manufacturer and online retailer. The Lund team will be led by Lewiston native Sandy Blackwell Yates, an avowed “river rat” who grew up on South First Street. Joining her will be Gouverneur Cadwalader, a longtime local resident, and Joshua Maloni, managing editor at Niagara Frontier Publications (The Sentinel).
Blackwell said, “It will be fun and we’ve been doing our homework. We may be the dark horse team, but the celebrities better watch out!”
Longtime Lewiston coach and former Lewiston-Porter Athletic Director James Walker also will field a team. Walker is familiar with all-things Lewiston. He will be joined by former Lew-Port Superintendent Walt Polka, and lifelong resident and businessman Curt Stuart.
Walker said, “I don’t have to study, I was there. Our family has been here since the early 1800s. We’re looking forward to having a good time.”
The contestants bring more than 700 years of combined Lewiston experience to the event and all are recognized for their in-depth knowledge about Lewiston’s past and present. All the questions – rather, answers – will be about Lewiston, including history, local culture and general regional knowledge.
The audience will also get to participate with separate clues for a chance at cash prizes.
Everyone is reminded to put their answers in a form of a question. For example, an answer may be presented, “Built in 1824 and considered Lewiston’s crown jewel.” The correct response would be, “What is the Frontier House?” Another example would be, “It’s the designated route number for Ridge Road.” The correct response would be, “What is 104?”
But knowledge is only part of the game. It’s also about which teams can hit their buzzers first. There will even be a final “Lewiston Jeopardy” question where teams can bet it all! So, strategy is also a big part of who will take home the championship trophy.
“This promises to be a spirited contest and we’re looking forward to great night of friendly rivalry and learning more about our hometown,” said Ken Slaugenhoupt, volunteer president of the Historical Association. “You can raise your hand to participate or just sit back with your beer and pizza and enjoy the competition."
The "fun"-draising event is open to the public and will be held in the upstairs banquet room at the BBC, which is equipped with an elevator. Entry to the event can be purchased for a $25 donation per person. Call 716-754-4214 to charge a donation over the phone. Or, one can send a check payable to the Historical Association of Lewiston Inc. and mail it with their name(s), address, phone and email to: HAL, PO Box 43, Lewiston, NY 14092. Attendees will get a beer, and pizza will be available at the tables.
Major sponsors for the event include Marla and Jeff Williams (new owners of the Frontier House), Supermarket Liquors, Modern Disposal Services and Niagara Family Medicine Associates. To participate as a sponsor or donate prizes, call the museum at 716-754-4214.