Spellapalooza III: Third annual spelling competition set for Friday at FUMC

By Sally Jump/Spellapalooza Stage Manager Published:

The third annual Spellapalooza will be held Friday, Aug. 10, at First United Methodist Church, 211 Washington St., beginning at 6 p.m.

As in the past events, there will be food, a silent auction, audience challenges, and lots of fun.   This is a fundraiser for the Thornhill Education Center, with all funds used locally to overcome the barriers of transportation and childcare for many students, according to Peg Harmon, THEC board president, who is chairing the event.

“Many of our volunteers have been with us each year, and they bring in more people to help, which allows up to make the event bigger and better each year,” said Mike Rosenstein, Executive Director of the Center.

For the third year, Danny Garland will be Master of Ceremonies with District Judge Kathy Mangeot and Circuit Judge Tom Wingate serving as judges for the spelling bee competition.  Returning as pronouncers will be Mike Schillihahn and Karen Hatter.

Donna Gibson, director of the Paul Sawyier Public Library, is serving as the wordsmith as she has for each of the past events.  Richard Taylor and Kate Osterloh return as expert spellers and Sally Jump is stage manager for the third year. 

“The community has responded generously again this year,” said Rosenstein.  “We are very thankful to have McDonald’s as a Title Sponsor, C. Michael Davenport, William E. “Big Bill” Johnson, Kohl’s Care for Kids, Montaplast and Farmers Bank are Leader Bee Sponsors and JRS Printing is a Supporting Bee Sponsor.”

Members of Thornhill’s Board of Directors take many leadership positions, as do Thornhill staff and students.  Others join them from the community who have strong ties to the institution of learning. Pam Jackson and Diana Peters are helping recruit sponsors and donors.

Caroline Collins and Sylvia Coffey chair the bake sale, which features homemade snacks and goodies.  Many of the treats come from women’s organizations and church groups in Franklin County.  There are cookies and brownies offered in small amounts for immediate consumption as well as whole cakes and pies good enough for Sunday dinner.

Diane Dominick and Hollis Rosenstein chair the Silent Auction.  Some of the items up for bid this year include University of Kentucky basketball tickets, a signed University of Louisville basketball, numerous Paul Sawyier prints, a Buffalo Trace gift basket, Woodford Reserve Tour and Lunch, Duckers Golf passes, a Reading Diagnostic Testing Session among others.

A light dinner will be served beginning at 5:30.

The main event, the spelling bee itself, will begin at 6:30.  Some of the sponsors and teams are: the defending champion team from The State Journal (Word’s Worth); Legislative Research Commission (SpellRC); Jim Beam Brands Company sponsoring a team from Downtown Frankfort (DFI); The Frankfort Optimist Club (BEEoptimistic); Kentucky State University ( Ph. Bees); Friends of BEEch Babes, sponsoring the BEEch Babes; First Christian Church (The Dipthongs); Cramer’s Lawn Service sponsoring a team from the Paul Sawyier Public Library  (Spell’s Angels).

Also, Franklin County Women’s Shelter (The Brainy Bodacious Women); the Frankfort Rotary Club; Capital City Country Dancers and Dance Band (The Waggles); Drs. Burch, Renshaw, Wix and Associates (Burch’s Bees); First United Methodist Church; and Thorn Hill  Education Center Foundation (GEDs are sweet as honey); and Bridgeport Christian Church (BEElievers).

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  • Yessiree, the same three.

  • Is your team going to be defending their title, Steve?

  • This is me, y'all, in the picture above in the red shirt. Bring yerselves to this event! It's for a good cause.