The Punktuators, from left, Lin Teachey, Ben Mentzer and Erin Mentzer and team sponsor Rep. Joe Graviss (D-Versailles) show off the Spellapalooza X trophy. They beat the Banker Bees sponsored by Whitaker Bank in the opening round of the finals. Proceeds from the night's festivities benefit Thorn Hill Learning Center.
After a two-year absence because of COVID, the annual spelling bee to benefit the Thorn Hill Education Center will return Friday.
The event, which will take place at Thorn Hill, 700 Leslie Ave., begins at 5 p.m. with a free meal that will feature hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, chips and water.
This will be the 11th time the event has taken place.
“We’re so excited to have it again because it’s been rough,” Thorn Hill Executive Director Kelley Anderson said. “Everything that we make off of this goes directly back to our students — goes to retakes, goes for building maintenance, goes for whatever we need here to make our students successful.”
Thorn Hill is an adult education center that offers several services, including GED preparation and testing and English as a Second Language classes.
“That money means a lot, especially when you have people that need to take (GED) retakes,” Anderson said. “It pays for the van to go pick people up, it pays for childcare, it pays for anything that helps the student.”
About 20 teams have entered the spelling bee, and teams will be recognized for being the most spirited, most loved and having the best costume. Spellapalooza T-shirts will be sold at the event.
Between 10 and 15 baskets have been donated for a silent auction, and there may be two or three items that will be auctioned off by an auctioneer. There will also be a bake sale.
“This year’s title sponsor is a secret,” Anderson said. “We’re not allowed to tell, but their motto is Bee Kind. They do not want to be recognized, but they really want that to stand out, to Bee Kind.”
Thorn Hill is seeking donations from restaurants and businesses to help pay for the food for Friday’s dinner. Those interested in donating may call Thorn Hill at 502-875-1481.
“This is an event that I think the community embraces,” Anderson said. “I know when I first got here and saw Spellapalooza five years ago I thought, ‘wow, this is cool.’
“There is the financial strain of course,” she added about Spellapalooza’s two-year absence, “but what makes me most concerned is what it does to the community. We want this to be an all-inclusive event for everyone in the community, and we want to make it as big as possible.”