The welcome return of the bee to Salmon Arm was cause for a spring celebration.
Gathering in the Prestige Harbourfront Resort on May 3, at the cruel yet usual hour of 7 a.m., were 10 teams eager to test their mental muscles – but not before feeding their minds and bodies with a tasty breakfast buffet, all in support of literacy.
Following a three-year hiatus, the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) brought back its popular ‘So you think you can spell’ Team Spelling Bee, a fundraiser for literacy programs in the North Okanagan-Shuswap.
The room was abuzz as team members sporting bee-themed names and costumes awaited the start, some with enthusiasm, some with a little trepidation. MC Kathy Hay vowed to keep her bee puns to a minimum.
After a word game and a practice run, the competition was on. Teams were tested in four rounds of five words each.
Words that sounded easily familiar suddenly raised questions in team members’ minds. Two Ms or one? S-y or c-y?
The 20 words on the list included specimens such as: perseverance, echelon, petrichor, idiosyncrasy and fuchsia.
When all the sheets were filled and all the spelling checked by judges, the winners were announced.
No surprise was the first-place team, Bee Witched, whose members earned their sixth crown as bee royalty. Bee Witched is made up of super spellers Carmen Fennell, Erin Milne, Marilee Hart, Angela Carson, Debbie Philips, Daphne Browne, Sue Dulley and Barbara McKinnon.
Coming in second and finally breaking a lengthy drought were the Newsroom Nerds, a not-so-motley crew of former and current Salmon Arm Observer employees.
In third place were the sharp-minded Family Centre Stingers from the Shuswap Family Centre.
This was the seventh spelling bee fundraiser for LASS. Terra Stephenson, children’s programs coordinator, explained the spelling bee supports many community literacy programs, including Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, One To One reading, Valid After-School reading program, Summer Slide reading camp and Cyber Seniors technology tutoring.
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