Spelling Bee Takes Center Stage Tonight
F-U-N: fun. That's just what the audience can look forward to tonight at the sixth annual Spelling Bee for Literacy.
The event, which begins at 7 p.m., benefits the Moore County Literacy Council. The doors of Owens Auditorium, on the campus of Sandhills Community College, will open at 6 p.m. Attendees may save seats for others until 6:45 p.m. At that time, anyone present will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Saved seats will be forfeited, with the exception of those reserved through the Friends of the Bee donation program.
The Union Pines High School Pep Band will perform as members of the audience are being seated.
Last year's champion spellers, The Printer's Devils, who just happen to represent The Pilot, must bring the championship trophy with them. The trophy remains in the winning team's possession until the next Spelling Bee.
The Spelling Bee Committee is chaired by Meaghan Kelly and includes Nita Brunner, Carl Giambelluca, Marilyn Neely, Tom Panek, Lynne Peterson, Katherine Stevenson, Dick Wolstenholme and Laura House.
"We are excited to offer this event to all of our Moore County residents to broaden people's awareness about our efforts to eradicate illiteracy in Moore County," Brunner said.
In order of appearance, the 20 teams include the aforementioned Printer's Devils (The Pilot); Bulls & Bears & Bees ... Oh My! (Stifel Nicolaus); The Spell Chequers (First Bank); The Book Jockeys (Friends of Longleaf); Keller Stellar Spellers Act II (Keller Williams Realty); Mustang Maniacs (North Moore High School); The O'Neal Falconidae Falconus (The O'Neal School);
The Spirit of Penick Village (Penick Village); We Bee Jazzin' (Jazzercise); Spells Angels (Pinehurst Resort); Service Bees (Southern Pines Rotary); See Sharp or Bee Flat (Golf Capital Chorus); Nuns Spelling Nouns (Pinecrest High School); SJP Saintly Spellers (St. Joseph of the Pines); The Split Infinitives (Union Pines High School); Veni, Vidi, Vici (FirstHealth); Sandhills Socrates (Sandhills Community College); Nine to Five (Professional Women's Network); Episcopole God Squad (area Episcopal churches); and The Mind Bogglers (National Alliance on Mental Illness-NAMI).
"During photo sessions, some of the teams discussed some very creative costume ideas," Brunner said.
This year's judges are Dr. John Dempsey, president of Sandhills Community College; District Attorney Maureen Krueger; and Dr. Susan Purser, superintendent of Moore County school system.
Pilot Publisher David Woronoff will once again be the master of ceremonies.
This year, for the first time, those unable to attend can watch the Spelling Bee on their computers via live video stream.
"See The Bee, MC" is designed to reach a larger audience and allow those who can't attend the show to watch the event live and donate online if they wish to do so.
People will be able to access this live feed by typing in the key words "See The Bee MC" (not case sensitive) in the search engine, which will direct them to the official Moore County Spelling Bee web page, http://spellingbee.lapgraphics.com. People can also go directly to the Spelling Bee webpage, or can access the page from Moore County Literacy Council's official webpage, www.mcliteracy.com. Both pages will have a link to the donation page.
"We ask that people give generously to support the Literacy Council," Brunner says.
Last year's event raised $16,652.
The fundraiser is sponsored by The Pilot and hosted by Sandhills Community College. Stifel Nico-laus serves as the Keep the Hive Alive sponsor, and Pinehurst Resort is the Beekeeper sponsor.
"We heard about the opportunity to serve as a lead sponsor of the Spelling Bee and considered this to be an excellent opportunity to support a worthy cause that we believe in while also enhancing the community's awareness of the Stifel Nicolaus name," Bill Eastman said. He, Jennifer Ellison and Windy Pratt make up the Bulls & Bears & Bees ... Oh My! team. "We just recently opened the firm's Pinehurst office in 2009."
The Keep the Hive Alive Award offers members of the audience a chance to contribute money in honor of specific teams to individual "honey pots." The Keep the Hive Alive Award is given to the team that raises the most money.
The Team Spirit Award is given to the team that receives the best support during the Spelling Bee. Penick Village has won this prize ever since its inception five years ago, and this year volunteered to sponsor the award, eliminating themselves from the competition.
"This opens up the field to all those past 'wanna bees,'" Brunner said. "Ear plugs may be in order."
Other donors are Progress Energy and BB&T.
Volunteers include Peterson, of LAP Graphics, who designed the Bee's Web site and ads; Lester Seidenberg, who will handle lighting; Jason Davis, who is responsible for the live video stream production; and Chris Frye and Gene Cummings, of the Sandhills Community College audio/video department.
"We appreciate the assistance of all of these volunteers," Brunner said.
Moore County Literacy Council is a nonprofit organization that provides free tutoring for adults who need to improve their reading and writing skills. All donations are tax-exempt. Anyone needing more information can call (910) 692-5954.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 693-2475.
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