First time event raises $4,700 for new program


Photo by Monica Pando

ENMU Women, the winning team for Battle of the Brains, pose with their plaque Saturday evening.

A first-time event raised $4,700 for a new local program Saturday in the Eastern New Mexico University Campus Union Building Ballroom.

Tyleen Caffrey, who played host for the event,said thew new program, called Portales Passport, is intended to help students participate in summer activities. Teachers will nominate students, and students who receive a passport will get their summer programs paid for such as arts, sports, and science camps.

Members of the team ENMU women were presented with a trophy and medals Saturday night for winning the 2019 Battle of the Brains.

The team included Regina Bouley Sweeten, Patrice Caldwell, Wendy Turner, Debra Koepp, Crystal Evaniuck, Edwina Gower, Cindy Gentry, and Jennifer Smith.

Gower said she and Gentry sponsored their team, which contained women who did not know each other at all prior to the event.

“It was great fun. One of the women said ‘hey, we’ll have to do it again next year and defend our title,” said Gower. “It was great to do something a little different that brings people together and also raises money for an important program.”

“We hope they don’t have math next year,” she added with a laugh. “That about killed us.”

Cindy Gentry said, “It was so much fun being on a team and working together as a team to come up with answers. Kind of arguing with each other and we just had a lot of fun and got to know each other better. (We) Had some team spirit going, and we were going to have a good time whether we won or lost, but it was sure fun to do well.”

The event took place Saturday in the Eastern New Mexico University Campus Union Building Ballroom and raised $4,700 for a new program called Portales Passport.

Tyleen Caffrey, who played host for the event,said Portales Passport is intended to help students participate in summer activities. Teachers will nominate students, and students who receive a passport will get their summer programs paid for such as arts, sports, and science camps.

Caffrey said hosting an event is “always fun and challenging at the same time, because the biggest goal is to get everybody excited and motivated. There are opportunities for silence; it is up to the host to engage the crowd. That is always the challenge but a fun challenge.”

The different categories in the questionnaire competitionwere history, music, science, sports, theatre, and religion. Each round had an unusual name, such as “New Mexico, Baby!” or “She blinded me with science” or “My B-I-B-L-E.”

Some questions asked were how high above sea level is Mt. Everest, what type of planets are Saturn and Jupiter, name the largest terrestrial planet in our solar system, in what sport would you see a death spiral, and what is the name the current governor of New Mexico.

Thirteen teams of eight participated with their own names: COMM Bots, Chamber of Commerce, Dairy Farmers of America, Something Different Grill, Star Damage, National Honor Society, ENMU Library, CBS Inc., ENMU Women, Portales Municipal Schools, Roosevelt General Hospital, Broke College Students, and Mystery Team Master.

Jeff Gentry, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said, “We had a lovely turn out and the teams played very well. We were very pleased with how much we raised for students' summer programs.”

He said they are not certain if Battle of the Brains will take place next year, but there will be some kind of fundraiser for Portales Passport.

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