This past weekend, BackStoppers of Monroe County hosted its 10th annual trivia night fundraiser in Hecker, which seems to be more successful every year.
Though the totals aren’t known just yet, Waterloo Fire Protection District President Joe Krump said he is hopeful it was the most successful one yet.
Each year, the trivia night has grown in popularity, and supporters of the organization pack the Hecker Community Center for a night that includes trivia, a silent auction and attendance prizes.
BackStoppers is a St. Louis-based organization that has been providing financial and emotional support to the families of police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel who have died in the line of duty since 1959.
Local county officers, firefighters and EMS personnel participate in and raise money for the organization through events like these, and have raised more than $153,000 for the organization over the years.
Last year, the evening raised more than $25,000, and Krump said he is expecting the total this year to be close to that, if not a little over.
“We’re on pace to be at what we raised last year, if not a little more,” he said. “We’re hopeful.”
Totals include money raised from the Hills and Hollows Half Marathon and 5K in Valmeyer and an Applebee’s “dine and donate” held this week.
Around 30 volunteers set up 75 tables in the Hecker Community Center to make the evening a success.
“A lot of people come for the silent auction, and we have two gun raffles and a 50-50 as well,” Krump said. “The trivia itself collects what it collects, but the majority of the people who win money donate it back.”
Krump said the group of people who put the trivia night together has been the same the entire time, and they haven’t had to tweak how the event itself is organized much because of how successful it has been over the years.
“We also just formed an executive committee this year because we’re planning on doing a couple of other fundraisers in the coming months,” Krump said.
The first two years of the trivia night were held in Waterloo at the Ss. Peter & Paul School gymnasium, but then it got too big.
“We have an adequate amount of help,” he said. “We have people who help set up, scorers, judges, runners and people selling tickets. They’re a great group of people to draw from because we have every fire, police and EMS agency in the county.”
They begin meeting after the first of the year, and the core group gets together to split up categories for trivia and come up with questions.
“Along the way, we begin gathering our items for the silent auction and by the time we get the event put on Facebook, we’re booked within a day,” Krump said. “We even have a waiting list.”
Though it’s gotten to be such a big event, Krump said the attendees are always pleased with how it turns out.
“It always gets rave reviews,” he said. “It’s been so successful because people like to support police, fire and EMS services. They realize the sacrifices that are made with line of duty deaths.
Krump said he hopes a family or department never has to rely on the services BackStoppers provides, but it’s there in case someone would need it.
“The guys and gals who help out with this event realize that it’s our way of giving back to our professions as well,” he said. “The fund continues to grow.”