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Annual Spelling Bee set for Tuesday

Event benefits Alliance for Literacy

POSTED: May 11, 2014 11:38 p.m.

Get R-E-A-D-Y to have fun for a spell.

The Gainesville-Hall County Alliance for Literacy is hosting the 23rd Annual Spelling Bee Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m. in Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium.

Nine teams of three people will face off in both friendly and fierce competition as they battle for bragging rights.

Multiple churches and community organizations round out the nine teams expected to compete.

“It is truly a spelling bee,” Alliance Executive Director Dorothy Shinafelt said. “It is just a team effort.”

But it’s not your usual spelling bee — these words are serious. In the past, words like ‘plethysmography,’ ‘syzygy’ and ‘redintegrate’ have come up.

This is wordsmith Gay Hammond’s 20th year of questioning teams, using the most difficult words out of the dictionary.

“The words are absolutely incredible,” Shinafelt said. “After the second or third round in all likelihood, unless you are a wordsmith yourself, (it will be) words you never heard of before.”

Three teams in particular are vying for the grand prize. According to Shinafelt, there’s a major competition between Grace Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church and Lanier Technical College.

“In the past several years, one of those teams has won,” she said. “Those three teams really take this seriously. Not to say the other ones don’t, but these three are vicious!

“They are prepared, and that is the key to the spelling bee.”

The Times is an event sponsor along with the Alliance for Literacy.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Door prizes will be given out. All proceeds go to the Alliance for Literacy.

“Help support family and adult literacy,” Shinafelt said.

“The greatest gift you can give a child is a parent who can read.”

The alliance serves as the advisory board for the Adult Learning Center, where adults can go for free educational programs and GED testing.

“There is a need for adult literacy and GED classes in our community,” Shinafelt said. “And the Adult Learning Center meets those needs.”


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