Bowling and Table Trivia Events Bring Community Together

The combination of good company, competition and costumes is a winning one, given the ever-growing popularity of the Alumni Association’s annual bowling tournament and Decorated Table Trivia events.

The bowling event began in 2011. This year marked the eighth year alumni, faculty, staff and friends gathered on campus to test their trivia knowledge and artistry in table decorating. Money raised from both events supports the Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund, making them both entertaining and worthwhile events.

Alumni Bowling Tournament

Despite the smaller team participation during this year’s Bowling Tournament, there was plenty of fun and competition to spare. The Alumni Association hosted seven teams during the ninth annual tournament held on Jan. 26 at Scorz Sports Center in Ralston, Neb.

Scheduling conflicts forced a handful of event regulars to miss this year’s tournament. This year’s competing teams chose unique bowling-inspired team names and arrived at the alley dressed in costumes reflecting their theme. After players bowled three games, event organizers presented awards to both teams and individual players.

Maintaining their title for the ninth consecutive year were the “ChamPINS” captained by alumna and Clarkson College Nursing Associate Professor Joan Blum (’81, ’86, ’01). The four teammates were just as excited to earn their Last Place Champion medallions this year as they were in years past. Blum, along with her teammates and fellow Nursing faculty members Kassie McKenny (’07), Mary Dishman (’85, ’91) and Renee Ruhkamp (’09) had more fun than strikes, and they maintained their title by earning a total combined score of 983 for all three games.

Alumnus Brandon Jordan (’06, ’13) led his team, Obviously Not Golfers, consisting of Erin Jordan (’13), Sarah and Brett Sobtka, to another Grand Champions Trophy with a total combined score of 1,788. As hard as they tried, “Pin- osytosis,” the team consisting of Director of General Education Lori Bachle, General Education Assistant Professors Luke Sieburg and Daniel Aksamit, and Nursing Associate Professor JoAnn Acierno (’07), could not catch up to Brett’s team. They happily accepted second place with a total combined score of 1,524.

Dancing on a bowling alley lane was almost unheard of until Director of Health Care Business and Health Information Management Carla Dirkschneider (’07) and her team, the “Bowlerinas,” started their games. Dressed in tutu’s, Dirkschenider and her teammates Matt Anderson, Rick Dirkschneider and Nancy Sudtelgte also tried to earn the Grand Champions Trophy and landed in third place with a combined score of 1,454.

Nursing Assistant Professor Sue Leutzinger (’89, ’09) earned the Highest Individual Women’s Score award after bowling a combined score of 427 with the help of her husband and teammates who served as her spirited cheerleaders. Matt Anderson once again earned the Highest Individual Men’s Score award with a combined score of 562.

The Best Team Name award went to “It Was Love at First Strike” captained by Director of Community Health and Interprofessional Education Sarah Flanagan. Team members included Flanagan’s husband, Jesse, and General Education Instructor Rachel Pfeifer and her husband, Joe. The team led by Registrar Natalie Vrbka earned the Best Team Costume award for the vast effort put into their “Hunting for Turkeys” costumes. Her team consisted of Financial Aid Counselor Bailey Jorgensen, Assistant to the Registrar Jen Wilson and Registrar Representative Emily O’Neill.

Decorated Table Trivia

Why was there an outline of a body on the floor in Howard Hall on March 2? It had to do with one of the cleverly decorated tables competing in the Alumni Association’s Decorated Table Trivia event.

Alumni and their guests participated in the annual fundraiser by providing table decorations that matched their chosen theme. Each table was unique, and the hosts went above and beyond to bring their creativity to the event. Carla Dirkschneider (’07) and her table guests chose a Wheel of Fortune theme, and their decorations featured a spinning wheel of prizes—including a free trip to Jamaica.

Alumni Coordinator Rita VanFleet’s (’67, ’94, ’06) favorite sport inspired her table theme—Women Supporting Hockey. Each guest wore a hockey jersey, and the group’s centerpiece featured the Stanley Cup. Jen Anderson (’10) gathered a few acquaintances to join her at a table representing the television show Friends. Her decorations included standups of four scenes from the series and vases with flowers and stems showcasing quotes from famous episodes. Each guest also wore a t-shirt featuring the sitcom's logo.

Carrie Sunderman (’11) chose Harry Potter as the theme for her table this year, and her guests went all out to represent characters from the books and movies. Table participants also wielded wands during the event’s trivia competition. Admissions Director Ken Zeiger’s table featured characters from the game Clue—hence, the body outline in Howard Hall. Each guest represented one of the suspects from the well-known game, and their table centerpiece included musical entertainment.

While the familiar trivia hostess was unavailable, VanFleet and Dirkschneider paired up to moderate the day’s game portion. Event organizers added six new trivia categories, including Holidays, Abbreviations, Sports Champion Trophy, Slogans, Landmarks and Who Sang This? to this year’s lineup. They also brought back the seventh category of questions relating to each table’s theme.

At the event’s conclusion, guests cast their ballots for table awards, and organizers tallied each table’s trivia answers. Sunderman and her Harry Potter table won the Best Decorated Table award, which earned her a free table at next year’s event. Dirkschneider’s team answered more trivia questions correctly than any other participating table and were crowned the trivia contest winners.

Special Thanks

A sincere thank you is extended to all who participated and assisted with these annual fundraising events. The Alumni Association would also like to thank Assistant to the President Kim Erickson for her help making each event a success.