The Callaway Conference Center hosted the 18th Annual Certified Literate Community Program Corporate/Community Spelling Bee on the night of February 22. When the event was set to begin at 7, the center was packed with spellers and supporters alike, some dressed in colorful bee costumes buzzing around with flyers and sheets in hand.
The event was opened by Leigh Newman, the executive director of campus operations at West Georgia Tech and the opening remarks were given by Debbie Burdette, the executive director of Troup CLCP. There was also the presentation of the 2016 CLCP Literacy Awards to three outstand individuals in the community that have gone above and beyond to help with literacy issues in the community.
Next was the introduction of the cast and crew of people who helped put the show on this year. Your EmBee of the evening was Mr. Jack Morman. The producer of this year’s show was Renae Willis and the Bee Bouncer was Carol Cain. The judges for this year’s event were Mary Ann Keck and Zachary Taylor. The time keeper was Ellen Parkhurst, the Bee Guide was Joyce Ellis-Johnson, and the judges of this year’s theme were the CLCP Board Members and Audience.
Finally, this year’s event was underway. There several teams that were competing this year all comprised of three member teams. The organizations in this year’s spelling bee were as follows: Batson-Cook, LaGrange Academy, Calumet Bank, CB& T, LaGrange High School, Charter Bank, JSL Sustainers, LaGrange Memorial Library, KIA, Kid Station Pediatric, Smith Design Group/LaGrange College, Troup County Medical Society, Troup High School, Twin Cedars, and West Georgia Technical College.
The event, as usual, was a rip roaring event of friendly competition and mingling. The three man teams all took the stage in turns, receiving their words and having 20 seconds to put their words together before the timer runs out. Each team who had over 10 supporters in the crowd earned an extra pass challenge, where they could pass a difficult word to another team.
There were many different rounds, with each team eventually dropping off like flies. When all was said and done, the final two teams left standing in sudden death was LaGrange Academy and Troup High School. After the smoke had cleared, the winners were the team of “Two ChicksandaGuy”fromTroup High School. The team members were Kathy Kirby, Michelle Ashmore, and Chance Giddens.
This is an event that is definitely worth coming to every year. All of the funds that are raised by sponsors go to helping fund all of the CLCP various projects around town. Every year this event sees a big turn out and is fun for the entire family.
Additionally, all of the proceeds go to funding literary programs all throughout Troup County. For more information on what you can do to help, contact the CLCP and ask for assistance and make sure you find time to buzz around next year’s spelling bee.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer