By Elaine Hamilton | Managing Director | Hello Scotland
No last minute team entries. No crude team names. No packets of crisps torn open in the middle of the table. And certainly no bad quiz-master jokes. No. The Marie Curie Glasgow Brain Game may be called a charity quiz night by name, however, the glitz, glam, stunning venue and the high calibre of the questions, sets it very much apart from the average.
Last week, Lisa and I took some time out to support Sharon as she brought months of planning together for this annual event, set in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. Months of her own time, dedicated to raising as much money as possible for the Marie Curie nurses who support people living with terminal illness, and their families.
It struck me as we were assembling for the briefing that us volunteers were all there for such a wide variety of reasons. Some, like us, were friends and family of the organisers. Others were past employees of Marie Curie. Some had been supported by Marie Curie during the loss of a loved one and others had no personal connect, by just wanted to help. A fascinating and heart-warming example of human nature at its finest.
The evening started with a drinks reception on the balcony, followed by dinner in the main part of the museum. During dinner guests participated in a very difficult 8-round quiz and a silent auction that was filled with the most amazing prizes.
My role for the evening was 'stage manager' to look after the speakers, hosts and quiz masters. My duties – other than standing by the side of the stage looking glamorous of course – included making sure each speaker had a five minute warning before they were due on stage, ensuring that the relevant props were in place and watching the “Markers Corner” for all the all-important red flag in the air, signalling that all score sheets had been handed in and the quiz answers could be revealed!
Lisa, on the other hand was one of the chief markers for the quiz. And had the unenviable job of swiftly updating the live score board continuously throughout the night. No pressure! But kudos to the marking team, it went smoothly and the winner table was crowned champions.
My favourite bit of the entire event was the very last round of the quiz - the music round! Eight well known theme tunes were belted out by organist Gareth, on the 1901 magnificent organ in the museum. Everyone loved it!
As you would expect from an experienced event manager like Sharon, the organisation was flawless, the event finished on time, and guests enjoyed themselves immensely, without an idea of what was happening behind the scenes!
It was a job well done. Over £108k was raised on the evening and final donations are still being counted. This is the highest fundraising amount achieved in the 9 years that the event has been running - an amazing achievement. Every charity event (or even every big event?!) needs a Sharon at the helm!