Grown-up spelling bee a hit in the burg

The event was a S-U-C-C-E-S-S. Looking forward to the next showdown.

click to enlarge WORDY WHIRL: Spelling Bee Team Wordier spells a word as TBN Red Pens looks on. - THAIS LEON-MILLER
WORDY WHIRL: Spelling Bee Team Wordier spells a word as TBN Red Pens looks on.

If your spelling bee doesn’t have headgear, you’re doing it wrong — one of the observations we made as 10 teams battling it out language arts-style at The Studio@620 for Wordier Than Thou’s first adult spelling bee Wednesday night.

Stand-up Librarian Meredith Myers hosted, opening the event by showing off her bee-inspired gloves and “dictionary shoes.”

After introducing the teams and making passes at one of the two word-callers, Myers thanked the crowd and promised to give updates on the Lightning Game.

A man in the audience objected, saying he had recorded it and planned to watch it later, naked. And so began the bee.

Word-callers and actors Paul Wilson and Mary Rachel Dudley kept the crowd laughing, especially Wilson who had contestants cracking up if they dared ask for their word to be used in a sentence. Consistently with a wine glass in hand (except for a moment when Paul dropped and broke his,) Wilson and Dudley worked together with judge David Wilson to sound out words that became increasingly difficult for them to say and for contestants to spell.

As the last two teams vying for first place were called, audience members and contestants alike began skipping out, leaving just the hardcore, backroom spellers.

TBN Red Pens took on Casting Spells and won, proving once and for all, editors really do have the last word.

Raffle tickets were sold and donations collected to help benefit the Literacy Council of St. Petersburg, a non-profit group that helps adults obtain their GED and gives them the basic life skills necessary to move successfully into the workplace.

Literary Council president Ann Palmer said the organization had been around for years, but very few people know they exist. Her hope is that word gets out and they are able to collect more funds and volunteers to help more people.


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