kids cafe food collectionMost years, I haven’t been able to play in the trivia competition held for bank employees to benefit the Central Illinois Foodbank’s Kids Café. I didn’t play because I’d work the event. This year, I got a chance to work less and play more. I gathered a group of my friends, and we competed against nine other INB “family” teams.

Much to my excitement, thrill and pure disbelief, the first category was “Disney.” If you know me, you know I’m a Disney freak. When my parents took me to Disney World as a teenager, you’d have thought I was six or seven . . . running from ride to ride and hunting down the princesses.

Were we going to do well in this category? That was an understatement!!! This was my round and I nailed it. I am very much a Disney movie and channel watcher enthusiast/nut. (Who else would know Pongo and Perdita were characters in 101 Dalmatians?) We answered all 10 questions correctly. And so our team, named Marvid (formerly known as Team Marlene), worked our brains off. Other rounds included flags of the world, Superheroes, and college mascots. It was like each round was chosen for one of our team members. Nine rounds later, team Marvid prevailed with the top score.

But we weren’t the only team to have fun. Table 4 brought a feast . . . and spent much of its time eating. A couple other groups seemed to thrive on losing as a huge bag of Dum-Dum pops shifted from table to table indicating the team with the lowest score. (Of course, the bag of Smarties stayed with us most of the evening!)

But more important than the fun was the cause. The more than $1,000 we raised during the event will benefit a cause near and dear to INB employees. For the past five years, we’ve partnered with the Central Illinois Foodbank to provide Spring Break care packages for the children of Brandon Court. During the school year, Kids Café provides a warm, nutritious meal to these children after school. The program closes during Spring Break. That’s where we step in by sending each child home with a bag of food as break begins. Actually, the bags are so large and plentiful, we have to walk the kids home from the collection center!  Employees like Kari Saling, pictured above, are on hand to help with the carrying, packing and organizing.

INB staff have two more events planned to raise the money they’ll need to fund the event: a PB & J challenge and a community-wide document Shred Event. The PB & J challenge pits our branches, departments and areas of the bank head to head to see who can collect the most peanut butter and jelly. The Shred Event is open to the community. We’ll provide shred services at our West Wabash branch on St. Patrick’s Day from 11 am – 1 pm. While the event is free, employees will be on hand to accept donations to Kids Café.

I’m looking forward to Thursday, March 24, the day we distribute the food to the kids. I’m lucky enough to have helped at the past events, and it’s a thrill to see how excited the kids are over a box of mac ‘n cheese, canned pasta and fresh fruit donated by our friends at Tom Lange. Almost as big of a thrill as being named Trivia Champ.