Community Education’s Spell-a-Bration slated for Feb. 17

If you’re Bowling Green-Warren County Community Education, you can’t spell “party” without “b-e-e.”

Community Education’s seventh annual Spell-a-Bration is scheduled for Feb. 17 at Sloan Convention Center. At least 22 teams have signed on to participate in the event, which is one part spelling bee, one part silent auction and one part costume party.

The event is sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Harned, Bachert and McGehee, and the funds raised by the Spell-a-Bration benefit the many enrichment classes and educational programs offered by Community Education to adults and children in the community.

Community Education Executive Director Debi Wade Jordan said the annual event has grown in many ways from the initial Spell-a-Bration, which was held in the cafeteria at Henry Moss Middle School.

The community has embraced the event, with inventively named teams seeing it as an opportunity to show off their smarts, or at least do their best imitation of champion spellers while wearing outlandish costumes.

“You have to have a competitive spirit, and a lot of people in our community do,” Jordan said.

Team entry fees, table sponsorships and proceeds from a silent auction of items from local and regional businesses help raise money for Community Education. Contributions typically number between $8,000 and $9,000 a year, Jordan said.

Additional spots for teams are available throughout next week, Jordan said.

Last year’s winner, Bowling Green Independent Schools’ Purple Powers That Bee, are returning to defend the title.

A kickoff event was Friday at Community Education’s Westen Avenue headquarters, at which Bowling Green City Commissioner Melinda Hill drew numbers determining the order in which the teams will spell.

Anne Grubbs, enrichment and volunteer coordinator for Community Education, went over the rules for this year’s bee.

Teams of three will be given a word to spell in each round, with one member designated every round as the person spelling the word.

Team members can confer with one another for a set amount of time and can scribble out their best guess on a piece of paper.

The designated speller can ask for the word’s definition and origin, and for the word to be used in a sentence before being required to spell the word out loud.

Teams have an opportunity before the bee to buy up to two Spell Again coupons that they can use in opening rounds to ask for another (potentially less difficult) word.

Also, teams can purchase an Ask the Experts coupon that can be used once. In case a team runs into a tricky word, members can use that coupon to consult their own hand-picked panel of experts for assistance.

Hill’s is sponsoring two teams at this year’s Spell-a-Bration and has been involved as a sponsor since the beginning.

Drew Stahlman, human resources manager at Hill’s, said that employees there have grown to enjoy the night, whether as spellers or vocal supporters.

“There’s a competitive spirit that drives some people, and for others, their drive is to support the people on stage, but they have a lot of fun with it,” Stahlman said.

— For more information about the Spell-a-Bration, call Community Education at 842-4281.


Story, Justin (2012, February). Community Education’s Spell-a-Bration slated for Feb. 17. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from