She loves her husband. She loves the cause.

But Whittney Loyd has no idea whether she and Adam Loyd, her spouse of four years, can match enough answers in the third annual Not-So-Newlywed Game to win the friendly competition Oct. 5 at The Commons.

However, they’ve been practicing a bit. Recalling favorite colors. Hobbies. Where they met. First date.

“We jokingly have been asking each other questions periodically throughout the evenings,” she said. “But I’m not sure it’s going to be quite that easy.”

Story continues below gallery

She knows because, as a former staff member of the organizing Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, she helped plan the first event two years ago, basing it on the TV game show “The Newlywed Game.” And she’s as passionate as ever about the mission — raising money to help Turning Point spread a message of healthy relationships and what they look like — as is Adam Loyd, one of the adult mentors for the agency’s annual Dance Marathon.

The Loyds are one of five couples for the Not-So-Newlywed Game. Others are Cindy and Eric Frey, Patty and Brian Hannasch, Shelley Knust and Teresa Voorhees, and Lorraine and Charles Smith. Diane and Tony Gambaiani, last year’s winners, will serve as judges.

Mickey Kim will emcee.

The game was so popular last year that it sold out its 200-seat space at Upland Columbus Pump House restaurant and raised nearly $26,000, including $6,000 for three college scholarships for local students attending the Dance Marathon in March. Organizers hope to sell at least 250 tickets this year at The Commons, which can seat up to 400 people for the game.

Already, 130 tickets have been sold in two weeks, rolling toward a monetary, net goal of $36,000 (including scholarships), organizers said.

“What people have told us is that this is one of the most fun events they’ve ever been to,” said Lisa Shafran, Turning Point president. “The way that we have tried to market it is to get people to consider what a healthy relationship is so that we all can get out in front of the problem of domestic and dating violence before it ever happens.”

One element that Turning Point leaders regularly have discussed with young daters for is the idea of a person constantly and obsessively texting a partner to find out who they’re with or who they’re communicating with. Clearly, that’s a sign of a controlling person, and such behavior could be a harbinger of serious trouble, Turning Point staff said.

Although organizers have slightly more financial backing for the event than last year, they are still seeking more sponsors, said Elisabeth Jones, vice president of resource development for Turning Point.

Just before the game begins, agency leaders will spend about a half hour on the nonprofit’s annual report to the community. Also, during brief “commercial breaks” during the game, Turning Point leaders will highlight some of the new prevention education programs it is beginning to implement.

Under the umbrella of bystander intervention is one program called Cut It Out. It features training hair stylists and barbers to listen for signs of serious relationship problems — and distributing materials about that to stylists. The first training is slated Monday at the local Vivian Lou Salon.

“People sometimes can disclose a lot in those settings,” Jones said. “So we want to equip them (stylists and barbers) with the proper information to refer people to services that they might need.”

A fun game to highlight a serious topic

What: Turning Point Domestic Violence Services’ third annual fundraising Not-So-Newlywed Game, a lighthearted competition among five local couples.

When: Oct. 5. Doors open at 5 p.m. Heavy appetizers and cash bar, 5:30 p.m. Annual Report to the Community and game show, 6:15 p.m.

Where: The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus.

Tickets: $40 each, available at

Information: 812-379-5575.

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.