‘Bee’ a good speller

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Society Scene - Palm Beach - - On The Scene -

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.

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