It's not often, if ever, that Canisius College and City Honors High School students get to take on members of the Buffalo Bills in competition, but the International Institute of Buffalo Wednesday provided a venue for it to happen.
The event was the WorldQuest 2007 International Trivia Competition, a fundraiser for the International Institute that was held in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall. The competition included 28 teams of six people or less who competed to correctly answer questions in the categories of religion and cultural traditions, politics and business, as well as sports and leisure, among others.
Bruce Acker, executive director of the International Institute, said most of the players were drawn from local companies, and agencies, including members of the Canadian Consulate.
Master of ceremonies Mark Scott of WBFO-FM News asked the questions, giving the teams 60 seconds to answer. There were six rounds of eight questions. At the end of each round, volunteers collected the teams' answer sheets for evaluation by the judges.
At the end of Wednesday's game, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise's team was crowned the winner. Many of the questions were multiple choice, including one of the first in Round One that asked the competitors to identify the name of the holy book of the Hindu faith, which is the Vedas.
Judging from their excited reaction, the Canisius team appeared to have made a clean sweep of the first round by correctly answering all eight questions. The City Honors team had the youngest players in the game. They were invited to participate after winning the Academic WorldQuest Competition for youths that was held last week in the Buffalo Science Museum, and will compete in the national competition in April.
The Buffalo Bills team was led by players Ryan Neill, Keith Ellison and Ryan Neufeld.
Preceding the trivia competition, the International Institute handed out Global Citizen Awards to Joseph Cozzo, president of the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center; Kim Griswold, founder of the Refugee Cultural Competency Training Program at Niagara Family Health Center; and Denis Beehag, director of Refugee Resettlement at the International Institute.
The International Institute of Buffalo is a nonprofit agency that provides English as second language classes, translation and other services to refugees and new immigrants.