In a room of about 200 last week, Duane Wallace was the only person who knew which animal kills the most people each year in Africa.
A hippopotamus — for those who are wondering.
For her steadfast knowledge of what she called “useless trivia,” Wallace took the Dawson County Woman’s Club team to the head of the class Oct. 12 in the third annual Are you Smarter than a 10-year-old Competition.
She and her teammates, Susan McBerry and Larry Stephenson, credit the win to a love for reading.
“She [Wallace] reads all the time, and it shows,” McBerry said. “She’s the reason we’re here.”
The annual competition, which benefits the literacy group Reading Education Association of Dawson County, is much like Jeff Foxworthy’s game show, asking questions taught at the elementary school level.
Fifth graders from each of the county’s elementary schools were also on hand to help out if the questions were too difficult.
Four of the 10 teams made it to the grand prize, million point round, but only Wallace was able to answer the question.
“Reading is the cornerstone of our community. If people can’t read or don’t have their GEDs, it just sets everybody back,” said Wallace, who was also part of the woman’s club’s winning team in 2009.
Sandy Lipkowitz, the organization’s executive director, called the event, which raises funds for literacy initiatives in the community, a success.
“I think it was absolutely wonderful. It was really exciting to have four teams reach the million point playoff,” she said. “I thank the community so very much, especially during these tough times. It’s hard right now for people and yet these businesses and individuals came through.”
A portion of the event’s proceeds will go toward a scholarship for a graduating Dawson County High School senior this spring.
READ will sponsor the scholarship in the name of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, which was selected among about two dozen local businesses and individuals that helped sponsor the event by purchasing letters in an alphabet raffle.
For more information about the READ program, contact Lipkowitz at (706) 579-1771.