The Saratoga Sun -

Box-ing Day

Lunch and trivia fundraiser garner $3,000 for museum, character names in next book go to Youngbergs

 


Sharing the sidelines of a C.J. Box Trivia event with the author and his wife, it became apparent that Box’s fanbase may remember more about bit characters in the Joe Picket series than does the man who invented them. Whether that’s due to Box’s prodigious output–16 Pickett novels and counting–or his fan’s exceptional avidity is an open question.

Saturday, Box was at the Platte Valley Community Center (PVCC) to attend the third annual charity trivia event held there in his honor. About 25 turned out for the trivia contest, and the Saratoga Museum raised about $3,000 from the event, said museum director Mikayla Larrow.

Of the $3,000 raised, $2,100 came from an auction where participants bid for naming rights to characters in an upcoming Box work. Barb and Allen Youngberg put in the winning bid, and their grandsons Brady and Benjamin Youngberg will feature in the next Box thriller, “Vicious Circle”, to be published in March.

Barb Youngberg, dressed as Joe Pickett for the festivities, is treasurer for the Saratoga Museum. She and her husband also won last year’s naming rights auction.

In exchange for their winning bid from 2015, a character was named after the Youngberg’s granddaughter Kira Harden in Box’s most recent work, “Off the Grid,” which was published March. This time it’s their grandsons’ turn.

Saturday’s activities kicked off with an hour-long informal meet and greet with Box at 11 a.m. and a fried chicken and potato salad lunch at noon.

At 12:30, the trivia event began and participants squared off against each other in teams ranging in size from a one-woman wrecking crew to a six-person group. The contestants duked it out for a photo opportunity with Box and cash prizes. Grand prize was $100, second was $50 and third was $25. Generally there was more fun than competitive spirit in the air at the PVCC, however, and plenty of jokes were shared among the Box devotees in attendance.

Teams answered about 20 questions, with one question per Pickett novel and several bonus questions, all centered around the day’s theme: “Joe Pickett’s Women.” Saratoga Museum President Liz Wood wrote the questions with input from Allen Youngberg, and the two also served as judges for the occasion. Mildly racy fare such as fan-favorite “Does Joe Pickett wear boxers or briefs?” featured alongside serious headscratchers that left even the author stumped.

A team consisting of a father-daughter duo from Casper and two women from Laramie took the day’s big prize and got a picture with the author to go with their bragging rights before things wrapped up around 2:15.

Larrow called the fundraiser the biggest of the season for the museum, and said she was thankful for Box’s soft-spot for the institution. She says a theme has already been chosen for next year –“Location, location, location!”– and would-be participants should start boning up now.

 

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