Newport Community Spelling Bee: Where shameless public bribery (B-R-I-B-E-R-Y) is not only condoned but roundly encouraged!
That faint buzzing noise you may be hearing throughout Newport is the sound of busy bees preparing for the Fourth Annual Community Spelling Bee, to be held Sunday, October 27 at 7 pm at the Newport campus of Oregon Coast Community College. The spelling bee is a fundraiser for academic programs at Newport High School.
Remember the terror of the spelling bee in grade school? Well! Promoters of this event say this bee is nothing like that. Instead of contestants nervously trembling on stage, all alone in front of a microphone, this spelling contest pits teams of four adults against each other. Teams work together to spell the words they’re given, and then scrawl their combined best-guess on erase boards. A panel of two real life judges, Lincoln County Circuit Court Judges Sheryl Bachart and Paulette Sanders, will make the call as to whether the words are spelled correctly.
While a single misspelled word in the early rounds eliminates a team from the competition, teams can “bribe” the judges to let them stay in with an “additional donation” to the fundraiser. One team, made up of four local lawyers, was reported to be quite comfortable with that arrangement.
This year’s bee will be especially exciting, as last year’s new champions, the CoasTarts of the Oregon Coast Council on the Arts, will be competing to keep their Queen Bee status. Last year the CoasTarts meticulously spirited the championship away from the Newport Public Library, the Bibliophiles. The Bibliophiles won the first two bees in 2010 and 2011, and they are anxious to win back the sweet honey of success and the title. The drama, no doubt, will be spellbinding.
The winning team will receive generous prize baskets which will include jars of locally-made honey and donated items from Oceana Natural Foods, among other local businesses. All entrants will receive a custom-made glass pendant donated by local artist Lani Warner.
Again, the event is a fundraiser for Newport High School Funding Academics Now! (NHS FAN), a group that raises funds to support academic programs and classroom needs at Newport High School. Bee there, Sunday, October 27, 7pm, at the Newport Campus of Oregon Coast Community College.