Trivia fundraiser boosts Cranston East music program

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It came down to the following final question: “In the 2002 film ‘Gangs of New York,’ what was the name of Priest Vallon’s gang?”

At the Shriner’s Imperial Room on Friday, Nov. 22, more than 130 people attended a trivia fundraiser to benefit the Cranston High School East music program, titled “Are You Smarter than a Band Geek?”

After enjoying a full dinner and browsing silent auction items, participants were addressed by Cranston East band director Greg Arsenault.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years. We have an excellent group of kids, and we need to keep music and the arts in school,” he said.

Arsenault presented a video that junior students in the band put together. The students asked each other a number of questions, inquiring about their first impressions of the band, how they would describe the program and their favorite part of being involved.

The evening was coordinated by Krista Schmitz and a group of dedicated band parents.

“I’m really happy with how the evening turned out. It’s great to see so many people having fun and supporting such a worthwhile program,” Schmitz said. “I’m also really looking forward to “Love Your Band Week’ at the Thirsty Beaver in Cranston in February so that my trivia team can defend their title.”

Sara Larrabee, who is the vice president of the Cranston East Alumni Music Association and a member of the class of 2009, was pleased with the whole evening.

“Over 130 friends, family and supporters of the CHSE Thunderbolts gathered to play a round of ‘Are You Smarter than a Band Geek?’ trivia. Together, over $4,000 was raised in a single night and will go right to the band to help with travel expenses, equipment, music, props and all the needs of a world-class music program,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who came, who donated raffle items, who bought tickets and had a great night.”

Schmitz and Larrabee give special thanks to trivia host Larry Minick, who donated his time to the cause.

And the answer to that final question? The gang was called the Dead Rabbits.

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