By Melanie Phillips
After two years of in-person fundraisers put on hold due to COVID-19, the clinic made its comeback with Trivia Night for a Cause on July 27. The community came out and put on their thinking caps as they competed for prizes in multiple categories hosted by Tom Sargent with DJ Kenny Ray. Participants worked as teams to answer questions related to history, sports, entertainment and a mash-up of subjects. Some also competed individually in mini games, which got people out of their seats and had them putting their hands on their head or hips depending on their answer. President of the board of directors and the clinic’s medical director Dr. Charles Pexa spoke about the clinic and all the services it offers to those in attendance at the event. He also introduced the new director Orion Jeter, who some hadn’t met yet since he became director in May. “It was great to see so many generous people enjoying themselves and when it was all over, especially after Orion and I talked, the people that really didn’t know what our clinic was about and how it changed their perspective on what we do,” Pexa said. “I had people coming up to me afterwards, as I had before when I talked, expressing their gratitude for what we do and their support for what we do. And trying to know what they can do even more to help besides contributions. It was very gratifying. I’m so glad we got to send our message and spread our mission to as many people as possible.” This event was a first for Jeter in his new role, who said he learned a lot about what goes into planning fundraisers. The reception he received exceeded his expectations and was extremely positive. “Trivia Night for a Cause was a learning experience. It was a great feeling. I feel like it was a chance for us to learn about what works and what doesn’t, but it was overwhelmingly very positive. Our community really supported us. It was a packed house. People enjoyed themselves and while they had a good time, they supported a great cause, too,” Jeter said. Many people expressed how much fun they were having and hope that the event comes back in the future. “I learned that Trivia Night for a Cause is an event that we need to keep doing every year. It is fun, it can bring out the competitiveness in people. It’s a great opportunity for people to unwind, have a good time, stretch your brain and memory about all those little pop culture things that Tom posed in the questions,” Jeter said. “It’s something that’s a formula for success that we can take a lot from in deciding the other fundraisers we do as an organization, but I just think it’s one that we’re going to keep on our calendar every year because the response was great, and people wanted to return.” Not only was the event great due to the fun those in attendance were having, but also because it allowed the clinic to reach people who didn’t understand the entirety of services that are offered. “Because it’s so far out of what they might imagine a medical clinic would do, and it’s transformative. It’s taking people truly from hopeless to hope and creating a worthwhile future for people who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance,” Pexa said. “I got a lot of feedback from people who attended who did not know the full scope of what we do. They want to be a part of our mission. I think it’s a matter of people don’t know what we do, and the people in attendance now are going to spread the word about what we do to the people in their circle,” Jeter added. “I got a response from people who want to support. Some people expressed wanting to be volunteers, and some already reached out to me since the event to see how they can help us out in lending their skills and experience in what we do as well.” Holding fundraisers like this one is a great way to reach people who may not have known who the Community Medical Clinic is or what they do. It gets the name of the organization in people’s minds and allows them to celebrate in the organization’s successes. “These kinds of events are important because like our name says – this is the Community Medical Clinic. This medical clinic belongs to our community. It gives us a chance to celebrate with our community and talk to our community face-to-face. The people that allow us to exist – we’re able to give them a good time, we’re able to allow them to see what we’ve been up to and just to be able to celebrate our own success and have fun with our community and do fun events like trivia,” Jeter said.