By Ed Harris
The Southington Education Foundation (SEF) is looking for the community’s help in spelling fundraiser.
The SEF is hosting its fourth annual Community Spelling Bee next month. Teams are forming now.
“Every year we seem to build on the foundation of the previous year,” said SEF Chairman Dawn Miceli.
Teams consist of three spellers that work together to spell the word. The team writes the word on a whiteboard and no microphones are used.
The event is also as well known for its often elaborate costumes as it is for spelling. It is not uncommon for participants to dress up in costumes inline with the name of their team.
“That took on a life of its own,” Miceli said about the teams dressing up. “Our teams get into it. We’re fortunate that it has turned into such a show for the audience.”
Admission for the event is free, though non-perishable food items are encouraged for donation to Southington Community Services.
Established in 2009, the SEF has awarded more than $100,000 in grants throughout the Southington school system. The SEF also funds the Science at Sloper program, which allows fourth-graders in the school district to utilize Camp Sloper twice a year.
Last year’s event consisted of 30 teams from all across the spectrum in town. The event raised nearly $10,000.
Last year, the teams consisted of Board of Education members, community groups, school administrators, beauty queens and members from various Southington High School clubs.
“I think this shows how the SEF has fully integrated itself into the community,” Miceli said about the high participation in the spelling bee.
Last year’s champions, the Bee-lievers from Plantsville Congregational Church, are the first two time champions in the event. They also won the inaugural spelling bee. TD Bank won the event two years ago.
Participation is $100 per person or $300 per team. Entry forms are available at southingtoneducationfoundation.org.
This year the Hospital of Central Connecticut is the corporate sponsor of the event. This means all of the money raised through the spelling bee will go right into the school system.
The spelling bee is slated for Wednesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. in the Southington High School auditorium. Joe Furey, chief meteorologist at Fox CT News, is the returning Bee Master.
Entry forms are available at the SEF’s website, southingtoneducationfoundation.org.
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By Ed Harris