It's the Place to 'Bee' Tonight
Event To Be Broadcast Live on thepilot.com
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If you can't make it to the spelling bee, never fear because if you click right here you will get a live feed of the event. The event starts at 7 p.m.
"Bee" ready for some fun today night, as 22 three-member teams compete in the seventh annual Spelling Bee for Literacy at Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College.
This light-hearted competition, presented by The Pilot, begins at 7 p.m. and benefits the Moore County Literacy Council (MCLC).
Additional awards will be given for Best Costumes, Best Buzz (most entertaining stage presence) and Keep the Hive Alive (raising the most money through individual donations).
"Admission is free, but donations are definitely welcome," says Susan Sherard, executive director of the MCLC, also known as the "Queen Bee."
Last year, 20 teams entertained an audience of 700 people and raised slightly more than $24,000 to support MCLC's vision of eradicating illiteracy in Moore County.
Stifel Nicolaus returns for its second year as a "Keep the Hive Alive" sponsor, now joined by St. Joseph of the Pines.
"It is especially gratifying to have members of the business community step up their level of support for our fight to end illiteracy," Sherard says. "Of course, The Pilot has been with us from the beginning. Without David's [Woronoff] enthusiastic 'Yes' back in 2005, and the perennial generous participation of The Pilot editors and staff, it's hard to imagine the Bee could have become what it has."
The O'Neal School's Falconidae Falcones (second place in 2010) looks to improve this year. Team members include Alison Chernin, Matthew Friesen and Josh Roberts.
They tried to cut the competition by informing the 2010 winners, the Golf Capital Chorus, that the event was on a different date. Bruce Blanton, Preston Smith and Fred Wolferman make up the chorus' team, See Sharp or Bee Flat.
The Southern Pines Rotary's team, Spelling Wars: The Rotary Strikes Back, is looking for revenge and hopes to recapture the title. Brant Clifton, John Eastman and Rick McDermott represent their members.
The Pilot's Newshounds - Steve Bouser, Mary Novitsky and Karen Triplett - are sniffing out a "hat trick" as they go for their third victory in seven years.
Supporters since the event's inception, the Friends of Longleaf's Longspellows intend to be the longest-standing team. The members are Jeanne Crowell, Emily Hauslohner and Don Lock.
In its first appearance in the Bee, the Sandhills Classical Christian School's Carpe Verbum plan to go head to head with The O'Neal School by having a Latin teacher on the team, too. In addition, the winner of their upper grades, in-house spelling bee, McKenna Gameros, is poised and confident of a win. The other team members are Major Tim Gameros and Joy Johnson.
The Stifel Nicolaus team is amped up for its second showing.
"We learned a lot in our first outing last year and definitely have plans to come out strong," says Jennifer Ellison, a team member. "The B-52s are planning some interesting antics." Other team members are Windy Pratt and Bill Eastman.
The second Keep the Hive Alive sponsor this year, St. Joseph of the Pines, who are returning as The Saintly Spellers, plan on some divine intervention. Georganne Austin, Tom McHale and Josh Threatt make up the team. >
Speaking of divine, Brent Bissette, of the Congregational Church of Pinehurst's team Beeyond Beelief, says, "It will be 'beeyond' a miracle if we win." Other team members are Susan Cox and Steve Hurst.
The Professional Women's Network (PWN) set the bar high for the creativity competition last year and were the cause of the new award, Best Buzz, which includes audience support as well as overall creativity.
Its team last year, Nine to Five, captured the judges and the audience when they walked up to spell. This year, they plan to continue in their pursuit of being the most creative by coming out as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This team is made up of Danaka Bunch, Sandy Rudolph and Nancy Sadler.
New on the scene is the OutreachNC team Miss Spellers Beauty Pageant Finalists, who have accepted the challenge from the PWN and plan to have a show down. Team members include Cos "Miss Print" Barnes, Melanie "Miss Communication" Coughlin and Jennifer "Miss Informed" George.
The Penick Village's team, Thumb Busters, plan to bust out all other spellers. Barbara Baum, Dorothea Brick and Rodney Prince will take the stage. Penick Village is also sponsoring the Friend of the Bee opportunity this year.
Hirease is another new team this year. The Hirease Honeycomb-overs is made up of Avril Callicutt, William Dent and Travis Moore.
Pinehurst Resort is in the action with the team The PARfect Spellers - Kerry Andrews, Eddie MacKenzie and Tom Pashley.
"We believe that the judges should use the Golf Digest magazine for spelling verification instead of the dictionary," says one of the team members.
The Country Bookshop at first declared itself to be shy and not too fond of wearing costumes. Time has passed, so look out for The Well Red. Katrina Denza, Kimberly Daniels and Angie Tally make up the team.
Sandhills Community College has a returning threesome. They have opted to shift from being Socrates to being The Spellcasters. Team members are Samantha Allen, Tricia Donadio and Vanessa Galloway
Sandhills Children's Center is another new kid on the block. The Killer Bees are Paula Daigle, Erin Newcomb and Michelle Smith.
Jazzercise is returning with the team All That Jazzzzz.
"We are serious when it comes to exercise, and have been exercising our spelling skills all year," says Debby Higginbotham, who with Rita Danker and Carol Putnam, will take the stage.
First Bank is back as The Spell Chequers. The team members are Chuck Boyer, Andrew Lyons and Stewart McFadyen.
Another bank in the hunt is BB&T, with its team Bee Bee and Tee, made up of Cheryl Darwell, Lisa Fagan and John Mecimore.
Both North Moore and Union Pines High Schools are returning.
North Moore will be represented by Marvin Atkins, Nicole Matthews and Stefanie Phillips. Jeremy Blake will lead the Union Pines team, whose name is still under wraps.
"Every year of the Bee is different," Sherard says. "The event reflects the diverse personalities and inventiveness of individual teams and talented MCLC volunteers who make it happen."
David Woronoff, the master of ceremonies and publisher of The Pilot, adds, "The Spelling Bee is a uniquely Southern Pines event. It's infectious, contagious. People want to be a part of it."
For further information, call (910) 692-5954.
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