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Adult spelling bee aids literacy efforts
Event is Oct. 4 at conference center
Bee WEB 1
The Blonde Bombspells, from left, Donna Brinson, Joanne Tolleson and Sara Harrison, participate during Spell Check Live! last year. This years event is Oct. 4. - photo by File photo


A war of words awaits several teams in Forsyth County.

The difficult part is they won’t be average words, but rather ones such as anhinga and scuppernong.

The 12th Annual Spell Check Live!, an adult spelling bee, will be held Oct. 4 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

The bee is a fundraiser for Literacy Forsyth, a nonprofit organization that supports adult education programs at the Forsyth campus of Lanier Technical College.

Fonda Harrison, who chairs the group’s board, said proceeds from the event go to various offerings.

“They go to support additional [General Educational Development] and [English as a Second Language] teachers at Lanier Technical College, resources for GED and ESL classes, and for materials for volunteer tutors and their students,” Harrison said.

She said the bee always makes for an entertaining evening, since many teams sport humorous names and even funnier costumes.

“In the past, we’ve had the Blonde Bombspells, Orthographobics, Justice League, Library Lexicons and many more,” Harrison said. “We’ve had teams dress like cows, babies, judges, clowns and student geeks.

“A lot of the entertainment comes from seeing how the teams will come dressed for the bee.”

There’s even a costume contest to name the group with the wackiest outfits.

Teams come from various organizations in the county, such as civic clubs, schools and government entities.

“This year, our five high schools are also sponsoring teams with high school student members,” Harrison said.

She said last year’s bee raised about $10,000, and this year’s goal is $11,000.

Cost to attend is $5 for adults and $1 for students.

And attendees aren’t just observers. They can also take part in an audience participation bee for a chance to win prizes, Harrison said, and help teams win passes for missed words.

“Those audience members that come in support of a specific team will help their team earn an Oops! Card,” she said.

The event will also include several gift baskets, for which raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each or six for $5.

Harrison said people should come out to support adult literacy while having a good time.

“It’s a fun atmosphere of friendly competition and great entertainment for the entire family,” she said.