Bee-witched, winners of the 2017 Literary Alliance of the Shuswap Society’s Spelling Bee on Friday, May 12, take the coveted title for the third time.: - Image credit: Jim Elliott/Salmon Arm Observer.

Bee-Witched casts winning spell

Team takes top spot in LASS Spelling Bee for third time.

A First Nations word challenged the self-described best spellers in the Shuswap at the fourth annual Team Spelling Bee fundraiser for literacy last Friday. No one correctly spelled the first word of the day, the Secwepemctsin greeting, Weytkp or Weytk.

Held Friday, May 12 at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort, this fun-filled team event challenged participants, created lots of laughter and raised money for a local cause, all before 9 a.m.

The Bee-Witched team (formerly the Kween Beez and now three-time champions) edged out the Word Nerds, the Pollinators and We Shall Go Nameless by correctly spelling Tsawwassen, the final word in the spelling bee.

The event raised $13,825 for the many community literacy programs run by the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS). These include Cyber Seniors computer tutoring program, Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week held each January and family and children’s literacy programs such as One To One reading and the Spread the Word/Little Free Libraries program.

“It was great to have even more teams at this year’s event — 14 in total! I can’t say enough about the literacy supporters who show their support year after year at our spelling bee fundraiser. There is so much good energy in the room,” commented Darcy Calkins, literacy outreach coordinator.

Many local businesses, members of the medical community, the school district, One To One program volunteers, nonprofit groups, individual literacy supporters and local book clubs all pitched in for the event.

“LASS is so grateful for the wide community support it receives,” Calkins said.