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Buzz for Bee as annual spelling challenge for literacy in Vernon nears

Teams will be looking to knock off the dynastic Okanagan College Eggheads and Queen Bees
Kal Tire’s Auto Korrectz team is one of 15 so far who have signed up for the 14th Adult Spelling Bee Team Challenge, which is a fundraiser for the Literacy Society of the North Okanagan. (Bowen Assman- Morning Star)

The 14th annual Adult Spelling Bee Team Challenge is buzzing with anticipation.

The Morning Star team, dubbed the Newsbees in 2022, are gluttons for punishment and will once again be participating on Wednesday, Oct, 11, despite having never won the tournament.

The Bee, which is put on by the Literacy Society of the North Okanagan, is a fun-raiser for literacy within the Greater Vernon community.

“We use our funds for everything in the society,” said Wendy Aasen, literacy outreach coordinator. “We have initiatives such as story walks and Family Literacy Week and the reading together program, which is our largest.”

This year, Aasen said there is a big push to get more volunteers, as they have struggled to recoup them since COVID.

“There is a volunteer fair coming up (on Saturday, Sept. 23), so we are hoping for a bunch more. We can get as big as we have volunteers to help us serve.”

One of the main sponsors for the Bee is Kal Tire, which has participated in the event nearly every year, under the name Auto Korrectz.

And amidst the tchotchke - which was a word on the 2022 spelling bee list, that the vaunted Newsbees spelt incorrectly - decorating the Kal Tire office in Vernon, members of the Auto Korrectz gathered to fastidiously study up.

“As proud sponsors of the Annual Spelling Bee for the Literacy Society, we are united in the belief that literacy is the cornerstone of a thriving community,” said James Shillingford, a marketing specialist at Kal Tire and one of the eight competitors at the upcoming Bee with his Auto Korrectz team. “We are honored to support their invaluable work in transforming lives through education.”

Both the Auto Korrectz and Newsbees will be looking to dethrone the dominant Okanagan College Eggheads and all lady squad of the Queen Bees, who have combined to win 13 of 14 competitions.

Spots are still open for teams to sign up, if brave enough to knock off the two teams with double dynasties in play.

“Right now, we have 15 teams, and around 20 is ideal,” Aason said.

If interested, a fee of $800 ($100 per person) is required, with all funds going to the literacy needs in the community. Funds can be receipted as a charitable donation.

“Readers/businesses/groups can buddy up with another smaller team, or sponsor a team if they can’t make it,” said Aasen. “It’s a great way to team-build or get their business known.”

Along with the fun spelling event, a breakfast is provided and participants are encouraged to dress up in costume.

The action will get going on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at the Prestige Vernon Lodge at 7:30 a.m.

More information can be found at the event’s Facebook page.

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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