Competition in the 22nd annual Great Grown-up Spelling Bee was largely uneventful until the word sepulcher. Once the spelling flashed across the screen, several hands hit the air in protest. Turns out they were correct — it can also be spelled sepulchre. Several teams erupted with cheers with the announcement.
First, second and third place winners from last year didn’t field a team, leaving the competition wide open.
“Those teams complained the words were too easy so we chose some harder ones this year,” Dave Miller said, jokingly.
Competition started brewing as early as the team introductions. Teams threw down subtle trash talk and called on beginner’s luck, as there were many new faces to the competition this year.
Fourteen teams signed up for this year’s spelling bee, which took place Tuesday night. The spelling bee was hosted by The Literacy Volunteers of Cass County, with the goal of finding the best speller in the county, raising proceeds for the organization and having fun.
Teams of three competed and faced words such as chautauqua, obelisk, bivouac, lanolin, phlegmatic and anemone.
The teams earning first, second and third place were the Super Duper Spellers from Landis Elementary, Ivy Tech and Pioneer Regional School Corporation. The team winning the spirit award was Logansport Memorial Hospital, with team members sporting red, white and blue wigs.
Paul Kroeger, bee master, read words, sentences and different pronunciations at the annual event. There were 50 regular words and 10 tie-breaker words in the written bee, which took place at the Calvary Presbyterian Church.
Vicki Ross, Literacy Volunteer president, spoke during the event and introduced board members and told the audience how the money would be spent.
Although there was no admission fee, the cost to sponsor a team was $100. The money raised went toward the Literacy Volunteers of Cass County. Proceeds will go toward tutoring for adults who need help with literacy skills, including those working on their citizenship.
Ross, who said the event went great, said she would like to see more teams volunteer.
Ross mentioned the need for more volunteers. There are 15 or so students who want a tutor, Ross said. During a break, two students spoke. The first woman to speak said she was studying to become a citizen. The second mentioned the previous times she had been tutored and how she had received her driver’s license and passed her citizenship test.
“These are two of the reasons I enjoy being a tutor,” Ross said, after the woman spoke of successful tutor stories.
Anyone interested in becoming a tutor may call Carolyn Killion at 574-355-0986 or 574-753-5906. Those who were unable to participate can send donations to Literacy Volunteers of Cass County at 600 Regency Place, Logansport, IN 46947.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.