The Buzz: Bee Tickets Now on Sale
On the evening of Feb. 16 in Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College, 22 teams will take the stage to compete in the eighth annual Spelling Bee for Literacy.
Some will come filled with bravado. Others will come with queasy stomachs, wondering how they ever let themselves get talked into this. Most will be wearing crazy, creative costumes and doing last-minute strategizing on how to get the judges' attention. Who will take home the spelling trophy? Who will win the awards for Best Costumes and Best Buzz? Which team has the most money in its Keep the Hive Alive pot?
Tickets for the bee officially went on sale Jan. 15. At The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, members of the Bee planning committee offered Sunday afternoon shoppers Bee-themed gourmet chocolates, glasses of wine, a poetry duet, and the first opportunity to purchase Bee tickets - a $10 donation for adults and $5 for children.
"The $10 admission is a value-packed donation," says Pat Motz-Frazier, president of the MCLC board of directors. "It covers the cost of one workbook for a student. It can be applied to your favorite team's Keep the Hive Alive tally. And, if you get it in advance, it assures you of a seat."
Tickets will continue to be available at The Country Bookshop and four more locations until the day of the Bee. The other outlets are The Old Buggy Inn, in Carthage, Sandhills Winery, in Seven Lakes, Given Book Shop, in Pinehurst, and Sarvis Realty, in Southern Pines. Tickets can also be purchased the night of the event.
The Spelling Bee is the Literacy Council's largest single source of financial support. In 2011, income from the Bee provided 28 percent of the MCLC budget, which supported 129 student/tutor pairs.
Other changes to the Bee are happening as well. The judges will no longer be seated on stage. Nita Brunner, chair of the 2012 planning committee, explains why.
"The competition for Best Costumes and Best Buzz has risen to such heights that we've secured the services of two people in the entertainment field to sit in the audience - anonymously - and judge who has the best costumes and who has the most creative presentation and best engagement with the audience," she says. "No more sacks of cash or home-baked cookies to bribe the judges - no one will know who or where they are."
It's not too late to enter a team, but almost. To register, call Nita Brunner immediately at (910) 725-1125. For further information about MCLC and the Bee, visit www.mcliteracy.com.
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