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Trivia night raises money for medical supplies

Photo by Ian Koppe
Photo by Ian Koppe

Playing trivia to fundraise is about fun and teamwork. For the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, teamwork is the way to make sure over 117,864 patients treated and counting can continue to access healthcare.

Both trivia and fundraising came together on Thursday, Feb. 25, as Western’s chapter of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, held a night of trivia for their second annual Trivia Wack event.

The night brought about a sense of community between the participants as each question prompted discussion, hearty laughter and open communication.

Western’s chapter of FIMRC started after the club’s president and coordinator, Erin Aldag, traveled to Peru with the national organization of FIMRC in the summer of 2014. While in Peru, Aldag got the opportunity to work in schools, orphanages and medical clinics. Being inspired by her work there and the difference she could make, Aldag decided to start a chapter of the organization at Western in the fall of 2014.

The organization works to provide a variety of resources including water filters and first aid kits in schools. Most recently they have been providing glucometers, Aldag said, which are meant to test blood sugar for diabetics.

Aldag believes that events like this one are important in the community.

“I think … it brings awareness to people but it also shows you that buying a $2 raffle ticket is pretty equivalent to buying a $5 latte,” Aldag said.

All of the money raised will be sent to the national organization itself. From there the money will be used to aid communities in need of healthcare assistance, Aldag said.

Stefanie Neale said she believes events such as Trivia Wack work well for students at Western.

“I think Western students generally care about these bigger issues, so it’s a good chance for them to show that they care by participating in an event like this and bringing attention to a really important program,” Neale said.

Western senior Kathleen Lucier said the night presents an opportunity for students to take a break from studying and get involved with something different.

Lucier hopes that this event will make a difference in the lives of people in the communities receiving aid by helping them feel supported.

With their work Aldag said she hopes to make a difference in the communities that receive aid by providing access to technologies and other resources that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

“The glucometer is a big one. Being able to test for diabetes and having things like clean water filters is really important. It’s just improving quality of life, hopefully,” Aldag said.

The hour-long event involved a variety of trivia questions ranging from facts about Western’s campus to sports and popular culture.

Aldag said that the club chose trivia as their fundraiser because of its popularity in Bellingham and its appeal to students of all majors.

“The goal of the event is to have fun on campus and bring the community together, while also raising some money for the organization itself,” Aldag said.

The Trivia Wack event had been in planning since the beginning of winter quarter, Aldag said.

There were prizes awarded for both the game itself, and the raffle that was being held alongside it. The winners received merchandise from Western’s bookstore, while the raffle prizes were donated by businesses in the Bellingham area, including Aslan Brewing Company, Mallard Ice Cream, Boundary Bay Brewery, La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza and The Pickford.

Aldag said that while many students are open to and like the idea of getting involved, it is important to take the next step and actually get involved.

“I think it’s just important to be involved and help something bigger than yourself and be able to know what else goes on in the world and people who are less fortunate than you,” Lucier said.

According to the organization’s website, the FIMRC started in 2002. The non-profit organization started with the purpose of bringing resources, access to healthcare and education about healthcare to communities in need.
The 3,000 staff members and volunteers within the organization work to improve the living conditions of people all over the world.


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