Adult spelling bee filling out quickly

Plans for Bowling Green/Warren County Community Education’s second annual Spell-a-Bration adult spelling bee are off to a good start this year.

Fourteen teams have signed up so far for the Feb. 27 competition, said enrichment coordinator and self-proclaimed “beekeeper” Anne Grubbs, with more hopefully stepping up to the plate. WBKO anchor Gene Birk has agreed to be the announcer, Grubbs said at a press conference Tuesday, and a guest emcee will be named later.

“It was a lot of fun last year,” said Executive Director Debi Wade Jordan. “We hope it’ll be a lot of fun this year.”

Reigning champions the Barrister Bees, representing law firm Kerrick, Stivers, Coyle and Van Zant, were presented a permanent trophy in honor of their win, but team member Maryellen Self won’t be content with just one.

“We’re going to get that one back, too,” she said, pointing to the traveling trophy her team recently had to return.

Jordan pointed out the Barrister Bees’ matching jackets, embroidered with the team name and a fat black-and-yellow bumblebee, to the other teams assembled in the room.

“It looks like there’s going to be some pretty stiff competition,” she said.

Several returning teams attended the conference – Huish Detergents, WGGC and Western Kentucky University, to name a few – plus some “new-bees,” including Franklin Bank and Trust’s “Franklin Fonix” team.

“We just thought it would be a good thing do to – a good employee thing and a good thing for the community,” said Cindy Hines, team captain. “We thought we’d have to draft people, but we actually had people to volunteer.”

This year, Community Education is pairing a children’s art show – aptly titled “Bee-lieve in Yourself” – with the spelling bee.

It’s been said that, aerodynamically speaking, bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly, Grubbs said, “but nobody told the bees that. They believe in themselves, and what a great message for kids.”

Artwork will be judged at the show, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Bowling Green Municipal Utilities Annex, while visitors will have the chance to vote for a “People’s Choice Award.” Winners will receive savings bonds from sponsor U.S. Bank.

For a fee, Spell-a-Bration attendees will also have the chance to vote for their favorite team, and teams will be able to purchase “spell again” and “ask an expert” chances, allowing them to choose another word or ask someone in the audience how they think a word is spelled, Grubbs said. Awards will be given to the most spirited and best costumed team as well.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Community Education, which uses fundraisers like Spell-a-Bration to keep fees for its programs affordable, Jordan said. Community Education serves about 1,200 children and youth in nearly all public schools in the area, as well as local adults with enrichment classes held throughout the year.

The title sponsor for this year’s event is Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Other sponsors include Huish, South Central Bank, Franklin Bank & Trust, Junior Woman’s Club, the Daily News, WGGC and WBKO.


Adams, Rachel (2007, January). Adult spelling bee filling out quickly. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from