Dreams for 500 Mr. Trebek
Sixteen-year-old Quinn from Peterborough, Ontario is a devoted fan and aficionado of the popular television game show Jeopardy! In fact, he never misses an episode and even watches reruns online. His knowledge of Jeopardy! facts and trivia goes back through all 33 seasons, including episodes by original host Art Flemming. Quinn can even tell you who won special tournaments from years past, something his hero Alex Trebek might not even be able to do. Watching the show, day-in and day-out, Quinn dreamed of one day being on the Jeopardy stage, being greeted by Alex and holding a buzzer.
Quinn lives with a seizure disorder, developmental delay, and has left side hemiplegia due to stroke. His family and friends say that he “shines” with his big smile and his inviting and energizing personality. This shinning smile shone a bit brighter in 2016 when Quinn received his Sunshine Dream to travel to California to meet Alex Trebek and watch a live taping of his beloved Jeopardy! “Holy Mackerel!” he said. Quinn’s dream was about to come true.
The adventure started with a special Sunshine Dream Presentation held at Quinn’s local WINNERS and HomeSense store – National Dream Partners for Sunshine. Store Manager Shannon led her team to build a custom replica of the Jeopardy! set for Quinn inside the store – a set that is now proudly displayed in his bedroom at home. After a special cake, well wishes from staff and customers and some hugs with Sunshine Bear, Quinn and his Mom Robin and Dad Kevin were off to California for Quinn’s dream come true.
After a relaxing stay in Santa Monica, CA, Quinn and his family travelled to Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City. Quinn was overjoyed with his experience on the set. He watched three tapings of Jeopardy! and got the VIP treatment from the Clue Crew team. “We saw everything behind the scenes where the Jeopardy Team works,” he shared. “We were in the control room for the 3rd episode and we were given a personal tour. We met Alex Trebek after and had pictures taken with him behind the actual contestant’s podium where I got to present him with a key to my city.” It was an experience that Quinn will never forget and a new Jeopardy! fact to add to his collection.
With Quinn’s little brother and sister sending their love and support from home, Quinn’s Mom and Dad got to spend some quality time with him. “We had an amazing opportunity to just concentrate on Quinn for 6 wonderful days in California,” says Robin. “All the adventures we had and the chance to just have fun and enjoy each other’s company was just amazing.” “It was an amazing gift for us to see Quinn’s lifetime dream come true,” says Kevin. “For us to be there while he experienced that was just great.”
Since returning from his trip, Kevin and Robin have shared that Quinn has more confidence and maturity. He now initiates conversation with others which is something he had never done before. What’s next for Quinn? His ultimate goal is to be a game show host and design his very own game show, like a British version of Jeopardy!