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Article updated: 4/27/2013 5:22 PM

Elgin trivia contest raises funds for The Literacy Connection

By Elena Ferrarin

Trivia bees are notoriously competitive, but at least one team at The Literacy Connection's fundraiser Saturday in Elgin was nonchalant about the whole affair.

"You can count on us to finish in the middle, usually. That's what we aim for," said Jim Golden, a member of the Friends of the Algonquin Public Library team. "Our expectations are kind of mediocre."

"We're sort of the Cubs of the trivia," his teammate Kent Sprague quipped.

The Algonquin team's easygoing attitude notwithstanding, the 16th annual trivia bee fundraiser at Grand Victoria Casino was marked by plenty of serious competition and a nail-biting finale that included four rounds of tiebreaker questions to determine second and third place.

The Bee Team, comprising players Ralph Heubach, Margaret Margeson, Ged Trias and Mike O'Brien, took first place. Team Christenson placed second, while the Elgin Community College Spartans team placed third.

Many teams were repeat participants, including one from the Community Crisis Center in Elgin.

Halfway through the competition, the team had been stumped by two pop culture questions, said Anna Whitmer, of Genoa. The questions were about who dethroned Lady Gaga on Twitter (Justin Bieber) and the real name of TLC reality show star Honey Boo Boo (Alana Thompson).

"It's a lot of fun; it's really competitive," Whitmer said. "And it's nice to do the fundraiser for The Literacy Connection."

Last year's fundraiser raised just more than $18,000. This year, the agency hoped to raise more than $20,000, said its outreach and resource coordinator, Monica A. DiVerde.

Twenty-six teams competed in the event, which included a silent auction with items like Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs tickets.

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