‘Bee’ a good speller
This year’s Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee was a bit intense, but definitely fun. After an evening of spelling, the team from Palm Beach Community College (Janette Campbell, Cheryl Zimmerman, Romina Massa) successfully spelled “Edulcorate” and was declared the winners of the 17th annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee held in late September at the Harriet Himmel Theater at CityPlace in West Palm Beach.
More than 250 spelling enthusiasts, supporters and guests attended the annual event and watched as 24 teams competed for the top prizes. Along with the winners, the team from FAU (Som Bhattacharya, Eric Berlatsky, Mike Marzelli) came in second place and the “Queen Bees” sponsored by Mallen Chiropractic (Ann Kelsey, Jamie Longhurst, Becky Karini) came in third place.
The 2008 Bee raised $44,226 – a new record. Proceeds from the Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee will support the programs and community services offered by the Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Belle Glade.
This year’s Bee also introduced a brand new, nearly three-foot-tall traveling first place trophy. The trophy is named Lady Darlene in honor of the Literacy Coalition’s Executive Director Darlene Kostrub. The Palm Beach Community College team will enjoy the trophy until the 2009 Bee where they will return to defend the title.
Other teams who competed this year and helped to support literacy included: The Bee’s Knees, Cheney Brothers Inc., Christine D. Hanley & Associates, P.A., Discount Debt Solutions, Inc., Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, Florida Crystals Corporation, FPL, Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System, Greenberg Traurig, P.A., ImMEDIAcy Public Relations, Inc., Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A., Lynn University, Palm Beach County Bar Association, The Palm Beach Post, Park Avenue BBQ & Grille, Publix Super Markets Charities, U.S. Bank Private Client Group, Velocity Community Credit Union, Wachovia Wealth Management and WPBF News 25.
Florida Crystals Corporation was the presenting sponsor of the Spelling Bee. Other major sponsors included bee hive sponsor Publix Super Markets Charities and lowercase alphabet sponsor NCCI Holdings, Inc. WPTV NewsChannel 5 Chief Meteorologist Steve Weagle was emcee for the Bee and the all-important Word Master was Dr. William Mech from Florida Atlantic University. Bee judges were Shelley Hedstrom from Palm Beach Community College, Dr. Bernard Schulman from the Palm Beach County School District and Ching Guey from FPL.
Dean Lavallee, owner of Park Avenue BBQ & Grille and Keri-Ann Baker from Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. served as co-chairpersons for the Bee. Committee members included Cheryl Budd, Cheryl Crowley, Noelle Frederickson and Kathy Metzger.
For more information, call 800-273-1030 or visit www.pbcliteracy.org.
Third place team: Ann Kelsey, left, Jamie Longhurst and Becky Karini; the "Queen Bees" sponsored by Mallen Chiropractic.
Ann Marie Lussier, left, Barbara Matos and Irene Rosario; team from Discount Debt Solutions, Inc.
First place team: Janette Campbell, left, Cheryl Zimmerman and Romina Massa from Palm Beach Community College.
Second place team: Som Bhattacharya, left, Eric Berlatsky and Mike Marzelli from FAU.