Spellbound with Words


Maybe calling spelling English words as one of the world’s most “awesome messes” is a bit harsh. Our language has several unnecessary consonants and silent vowels, all of which fool the mind. Is it any wonder that “spell check” has taken the society by storm?

So despite the confusion and mess of spelling words, several teams of spellers will tackle the spelling challenge on Saturday morning, April 2, at the “Grate” Altus Spelling Bee. Teams are composed of two or three individuals, age 18 and older. The light-hearted contest will be held in the Band Hall at Western Oklahoma State College, starting at 9 am and is sponsored by the Great Plains Literacy Council.

“The ‘Grate’ word in the name of the spelling bee was used to draw attention to the importance of spelling and to describe the friendly, fun competition associated at the fund raiser,” explained Kristin Shelby, Great Plains Literacy Council Spelling Bee chair. “It really is a ‘great’ event. Other Spelling Bee Planning Committee from our Board includes Suzanne Rooker, Kristen Balko, Doug Dalton, Ryan Howard, and Cindy Allen. We have been ‘busy as bees’ sending out announcements about the event, encouraging teams to register, asking for donations to this nonprofit organization, and organizing our publicity.”

The fundraiser is about three weeks away, so team spellers are encouraged to register at the Altus Public Library by March 29. The entry fee of $100 is due with the registration of the team. Teams will be given the rules and an opportunity to purchase three mulligans (word passes) for $25. At the event, three mulligans will cost $35.

The team members can work together in spelling the words at the contest. Not only will the competition recognize the best spellers as a team, but awards will recognize the best costumes and best team name. A sympathy award will be given to the first team that misspells a word. Also a special award goes to the top military team.

If persons, businesses, or organizations want to make financial contributions and not have a team, the donations will be listed in the program denoting contributors or the donation might help sponsor an unfunded team in whole or in part.

To be a part of this “Grate” event, just plan to attend as no admission fee is charged for the public to attend the event.

The Great Plains Literacy Council is dedicated to helping area residents improve reading, writing, and speaking English.

For more information or questions about the “Grate” Altus Spelling Bee, please give them a “buzz” at 477-2890.

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