Sponsored by the Certified Literate Community Program, this bee comes complete with costumes for those so inclined, a “bee bouncer,” an “emBee” and cheering sections.
It’s the literacy program’s 13th annual corporate/community spelling bee Feb. 28 in the Callaway Conference Center on the campus of West Georgia Technical College at 220 Fort Drive.
Fifteen teams are signed up so far, and more are still welcome, said Debbie Burdette, Troup CLCP executive director. Teams, which consist of three members each, can even sign up at the event.
“It’s a grown-up spelling bee, but it’s fun for the whole family,” Burdette said. “It’s neat to see children in the audience because they’re watching adults have fun being lifelong learners.”
The CLCP works to help eliminate literacy in the community, working with everyone from new mothers to senior citizens.
“The Doctors” - consisting of Drs. Jim Brennan, Tom Gore and Rod Duraski - won among the 15 teams last year and will return to try to retain their title, Burdette said. Teams hailed from Batson-Cook, ExxonMobil, Kroger and the Rotary Club, among others.
Opal Hogg, community relations coordinator for ExxonMobil, gathers members for her company’s team each year and loves to be a part of the audience.
“It’s so wonderful,” she said. “You get to see doctors, professors, business professionals, hourly workers, all competing with each other to help the same cause. They’re all having fun raising money for education. You’ll see cheering teams that range from age 2 to 70.”
Jack Morman is the event’s “emBee,” Carol Cain is the “bee bouncer” and Renae Willis is the pronouncer. And there’s Debbie Burdette, or “DeBee,” who says she just “buzzes around.”
Teams can have fun naming themselves or dressing in theme. One team makes it a point to name themselves and dress after the word that “did them in” the year before, Burdette said.
CLCP also will award its first-ever Literacy Awards at the spelling bee after taking nominations from the community a few months ago.
A used adult book sale will be held at 5 p.m. and continue through the spelling bee. Paperbacks and hardbacks will be available. Prices start at around $1.50.
Team entry fee is $500 each, but there is no admission charge to watch the bee. A reception for team members will be at 6 p.m., and teams must be at the conference center by 6:30 p.m. to register.
For more information, call Burdette at (706) 756-4645.
Natalie Shelton can be reached at email@example.com or (706) 884-7311 Ext. 229.