Heritage team Trivia Bee champs
by W. Winston Skinner
The team from The Heritage School took first place in the 16th annual CLICK Trivia Bee on Thursday — catapulting a strong showing by naming popular dog breeds for the final question.
During the festivities, it was announced that Lisa Johnston, executive director of CLICK – Certified Literate is Coweta’s Key – for the past five years, is leaving the organization to work in human resources for Newnan Utilities.
Johnston said she had enjoyed working to “improve the quality of life through literacy” for everyone in Coweta County. “The community is so supportive,” she said.
The Heritage team – Connie Avery, Doug Kees and Jeff Stuart – did well throughout the evening. Their team was in first place when totals were announced about halfway through the bee – just ahead of the Central Educational Center team.
When the regular questions were done, totals were announced, and each team wagered all or part of their points for an unspecified question on the topic “animals.”
“We risked everything,” noted Polly Haugen of the CEC team. Their team was one of several that lost their points as they were asked to name several of the top dog breeds.
Heritage finished the competition with 259 points followed by the Newnan Rotary Club team and the Coweta-Fayette EMC team.
The bee is a fundraiser for CLICK, a local non-profit that promotes literacy. The fundraiser was held at the Carnegie Library in downtown Newnan.
“Every year this event grows and grows,” noted Danny Beck, master of ceremonies. “It’s great people putting on a great event and raises a lot of money for this charity.”
There were 13 teams of three sitting at tables in the upstairs meeting room. Questions relating to science, history, popular culture and sports were asked. Teams had 90 seconds to write their answers on a slip of paper and get it to the judges’ table.
The event was planned to be fun – and to raise money for CLICK. Beck peppered his patter with humor. In addition to asking the official bee questions, he – with help from volunteers including his son, Chase – gave away door prizes. Raffle tickets were purchased for the prizes with proceeds going to CLICK.
CLICK board member Jimmy Bass provided guitar music throughout the evening, including for some trivia questions that had a musical clue.
Many of the people participating know each other, and there was friendly competition among the teams. There was applause for Johnston when it was announced she was leaving CLICK and lots of smiles when Beck announced Chase had pulled a loose tooth during the evening.
At the back of the room was a table with refreshments and seating for about 50 people who watched at the competition grew fiercer.
A trio of retired teachers – Janie Lore, Donna Moore and Betty Smith – served as judges. Carol Tucker was the timekeeper, and Darren Mitchell was the scorekeeper.
Lauren Gallagher, CLICK board chairman, welcomed participants and other attendees. Martha Lynn Mitchell, past board chairman, then spoke – centering her remarks on Johnston’s departure.
Mitchell said it was with “a little bit of sadness” that she heard the news of Johnston’s new job. “She’s been a wonderful leader. I’ve had the honor of serving with her,” she said.
Johnston consistently promoted CLICK’s objectives and emphasized “the importance of literacy in our community,” Mitchell said. “She was always beating the drum.”
Mitchell noted Coweta County received Certified Literate Community status during Johnston’s tenure – building on the work of the previous CLICK executives, Anne Josey and Mel Hayden.
“Lisa has really been the driving force for everything that’s happened for literacy in Coweta County in the past five years,” Mitchell said.
Beck also praised Johnston for her “awesome five years.”
“It has been a rewarding experience for me,” Johnston said. She said she hopes to continue to be involved with CLICK and predicted a busy and bright future for the organization.
“This new chapter is exciting for everyone,” Mitchell said, “and I think the drumbeat will continue.”