BEE Alert: Team Sign-Up Time Is Now
BY KATHERINE STEVENSON
Special to The Pilot
Moore County Literacy Council's evening of wacky fun and fundraising is back.
On Thursday, Feb. 16, the eighth annual Spelling Bee for Literacy will light up Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College.
Twenty-two teams with three -members each will compete on stage for trophies and bragging rights: Best Spellers, Best Costumes, Best Buzz and a Keep the Hive Alive award for the team raising the most money.
Local businesses and community groups are registering their teams now.
"Only 22 slots are available, so don't delay," says Susan Sherard, executive director of the Moore County Literacy Council.
For detailed information about sponsoring a team, contact Nita Brunner, chair of the Spelling Bee Committee, at (910) 725-1125, or check the Spelling Bee page on the website www.mcliteracy.com.
Literacy Council volunteers who do the overall planning are named "the Bee Hive" for a good reason. After just a month off last spring, they jumped back in to start preparing for 2012.
"The early and enthusiastic -commitment of lead sponsors is -crucial to the success of our event," says Sherard, who notes with -gratitude that each of their lead -sponsors has a strong record of -community involvement.
The Pilot is returning as presenting sponsor, joined by three Biggest Buzz sponsors: Stifel Financial, First Bank and St. Joseph of the Pines. All four businesses are Bee veterans.
Since 2005, when David Woronoff agreed to serve as master of ceremonies and committed The Pilot to entering a team, the newspaper has been the Bee's premier promoter. Their teams have always survived through multiple rounds and twice took home the Best Spellers trophy.
In 2010, Stifel Financial signed on as the Bee's first-ever Biggest Buzz sponsor. Their spirited participation continues unabated. Bill Eastman, senior vice president of the firm's investment management group, -partners with Windy Pratt and Jennifer Ellison to make up their onstage team.
Last year, competing as "The B52s," they triumphed as winners of the Best Costumes award.
First Bank was one of the original Spelling Bee teams, and their support has never faltered. The First Bank "SpellChequers" team will be back on stage in February, but for 2012 they have also signed on as a Biggest Buzz sponsor.
For St. Joseph of the Pines, 2012 will be the second year as a Biggest Buzz sponsor and its third to enter a team. Both the 2009 "SJP Buzzers" and the 2010 "SJP Saintly Spellers" succeeded through -several rounds, but the trophy St. Joseph's took home in 2010 was for most "Team Spirit."
Moore County Literacy Council (MCLC) is a -nonprofit organization that offers free tutoring services to adults with low reading and writing skills.
The students are English speaking and non-English speaking community members who want to improve their lives - and the lives of their families - by improving their literacy skills.
MCLC tutors are -community volunteers, trained and supervised by a professional staff. To cover the cost of this work, MCLC applies for annual grants from United Way, Moore County, the North Carolina Community College System and -several community -foundations.
The Spelling Bee is the Literacy Council's major annual fundraising event.
Last year 22 teams entertained an audience of 700 people, and raised more than $26,000 to support MCLC's vision of eradicating illiteracy in Moore County.
For further -information about MCLC and the Spelling Bee for Literacy, visit the Literacy Council website www.mcliteracy.com or phone (910) 692-5954.
Katherine Stevenson is a MCLC volunteer.
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