18th Annual Adult Spelling Bee is Sun. March 6

Online Registration is Now Open

Sponsored by Chemung Canal Trust Company

Mark your calendars for the 18th Annual IPEI Adult Spelling Bee, a family-friendly community event with 28 spelling bee teams - three team members each - as well as an official pronouncer, timekeeper, and judges. The Bee is the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI)'s signature fundraising event raising funds for IPEI grants for Ithaca City School District (ICSD) teachers. Last year over $90,000 in grants was awarded for projects that enhance the education of ICSD students.

Scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the Ithaca High School Wellness Center Gym, this fun-filled gathering draws a large crowd of all ages eager to watch the teams of spellers representing local businesses, schools, and community groups. Team costumes are encouraged, and cheering sections rally the competitors as the teams battle it out to make it to the championship round vying for the Fuzzy Bee trophy.

This year's Bee will pilot a spelling competition format based on the Bozeman School Foundation, Montana. With this new approach, teams in each round will be given the same words to spell at the same time, and the pace of spelling is expected to increase.

Thanks to the Bee's event sponsors, all other proceeds go directly toward funding IPEI grants for teachers. The Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor is Chemung Canal Trust Company, and the Red Ribbon Finalist Sponsor is Wells Fargo Financial Advisors. Sciarabba Walker and Cayuga Radio Group are Gold Ribbon Sponsors.

Spelling Bee team entry fees (minimum $400 each) are paid by local businesses and organizations or by the spellers themselves. Online registration is available as well as entry form documents that can be downloaded from Spelling Bee Events page at www.IPEI.org.

The Bee is free and open to the community, and a play area will be available for children accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Throughout the event and starting at 1:30 p.m. when the doors open, there’s a silent auction and other ways for event spectators to participate. In advance of the Bee, advertisements can be purchased in the event program, and spellers will be seeking community support.

Tickets for a quilt raffle can be purchased on March 6, or in advance at PTA meetings; Cat’s Pajamas; Boynton Middle, DeWitt Middle and Ithaca High School winter music concerts; and the IPEI office.

Contact the Spelling Bee Committee, ipei@ipei.org to get involved or with questions. The chair is Jennifer Biloski, jbiloski@twcny.rr.com, 607-227-1905.

This beautiful quilt crafted by friends of IPEI (Peggy Hill, Connie Patterson, Judy Steele and Marcie Wyant) will be raffled at the Bee. Tickets can be purchased by the school liaison at PTA meetings, IPEI directly, Cat’s Pajamas, Gallery Night at DeWitt Mall on Feb. 5, and by volunteers selling tickets during Boynton, DeWitt and IHS winter music concerts. The cost per raffle ticket is one ticket for $1.00, or six tickets for $5.00.

17th Annual Adult Spelling Bee
Sunday, March 1, 2015

I.H.S. Bee-T-A Wins with "idiosyncratic"

"Spelling Bee a Snap" media reports from the Ithaca Journal, Lansing Star, and Tompkins Weekly

Thanks for BEE-ing part of our fun fundraiser!
And click here to view the event program online!

View the Bee video coverage by WRED TV

IPEI 17th Annual Adult Spelling Bee Final Two Teams


Read about the difference the Spelling Bee makes for Ithaca teachers and students!

Over 300 members of the community of all ages gathered for the IPEI Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 1 in the Ithaca High School Wellness Center Gym. The 17th annual event featured 28 spelling teams of three adults each competing for the championship Fuzzy Bee trophy and raising $26,000 for IPEI's grants for teachers.

I.H.S. Bee-T-A, representing the Ithaca High School PTA, was victorious spelling "idiosyncratic" after Highway to Spell from Cayuga Radio Group misspelled it. Following four preliminary rounds with seven teams in each, four finalist teams advanced to the championship round including We Spell Krazy Good and the Bunco Bees. In addition, the Caroline Bee-tniks were recognized for having the Best Costumes and Most Spirit. The ICSD Librarians known as #icsdlibs raised the most funds for their team entry.

Chemung Canal Trust Company, the Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor for the fifth year, was joined by Red Ribbon Finalist Sponsor Wells Fargo Advisors and two Gold Ribbon Sponsors, Cayuga Radio Group and Sciarabba Walker & Co. Their corporate support covers all event expenses so that team sponsorships directly support grants for teachers. West Hill Graphics and Calf Audio were also key event partners.

Run like an official spelling bee, with rules, a pronouncer, host, timekeeper, and three judges, event income also includes team fundraising, a silent auction, event program advertisements, and a 50/50 raffle. Geoff Dunn pronounced the words with assistance from Zoya Segelbacher while timekeeper Susan Piliero alerted spellers when their time had expired. Each round featured an honorary celebrity bee-keeper assisting her: Cornell's Robin Davisson, Chemung Canal's Mike Wayne, TC3's Deb Mohlenhoff, and Wells Fargo's Rob Ainslie. Judges included IPEI founder Ralph Jones, Paulette Manos and Deborah Lynn. This year's Bee host was Jean McPheeters.

Teams are known by creative names such as Highway to Spell, Spell Sesquicentennial, Slightly Better than Autocorrect, Beankeepers, I.H.S. Bee-TA, BJM Spell Casters, LACS Alternative Spellerz, and the Hi-Loehr-ious Spell-Loehrs. Two teams were back after multiple championships: the Spellicans and Fine Arts "Word" Boosters, and last year's winners, We Spell Krazy Good (WSKG), attempted a repeat victory. Some teams were comprised of community members who want to support local public education and enjoy spelling. Others are closely connected to the Ithaca City School District (ICSD): Ithaca Teachers Association, ICSD Administration, ICSD Board of Education, ICSD Librarians, Belle Sherman Elementary School PTA, Caroline Elementary School PTA, Northeast Elementary PTA, Ithaca High School PTA, Ithaca High School Math Department, Lehman Alternative Community School, Fine Arts Booster Group, and the Ithaca Council of PTAs.

Championship Round prizes and new awards for the teams with the best costumes, most team spirit, and highest fundraising were provided by DonorsChoose.org, Steve Ryan, Susan McCutcheon, and Makepeace Candles.

Refreshments donors are listed below. The silent auction featured 32 items provided by restaurants, museums, retail shops, salons and spas, educational organizations, and inns. In addition, the event program features advertisements from more generous businesses.

Events like the Spelling Bee depend on participation of many. The Bee Committee was chaired by IPEI board member Jennifer Biloski and supported by IPEI's Assistant to the Director Julie Langenbacher. Nora Shang, Karen Yearwood, Ellen Reuben, Michelle Woods, David McMurry, Usha Raman, Marcie Wyant, Connie Patterson and Mary Grainger volunteered as committee members, and IPEI board members were involved with event preparation and production, too. Student volunteers from DeWitt Junior Honor Society, and Ithaca High's Code Red Robotics team assisted at the event. Meira Braun and Grace Blodgett were this year's Bee Fairies escorting teams through all the rounds after words were misspelled.

WRED, Ithaca High School's state-of-the-art television production facility and course, offers Digital Media students the opportunity to produce shows in a real-world environment for the web and for cable. Thanks to Steve Cass, Michael Reiff and their students, the Bee was broadcast live stream and will be available for later viewing. Go to youtube, search for IHSWRED, locate the playlist and find IPEI Spelling Bee.

During the last school year IPEI awarded over $75,000 in grants, benefiting teachers and students at all grade levels in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD). Grants are provided for innovative educational projects including many that promote collaboration between Ithaca schools and the community.

IPEI Spelling Bee Teams

#icsdlibs
A Nurse, a Doctor & a Sea Captain walk into a spelling bee....
Beankeepers
Belle Spellers
BJM Spell Casters
Board of Ed Buzz
Caroline Bee-tniks
Family Buzzers
Fine Arts "Word" Boosters
Ghoti
Highway to Spell
Hi-Loehr-ious Spell-Loehrs
IHS Bee-T-A
Ithaca Teachers Association
Ithaca Wegmans
Parental Prowess
Slightly Better Than Autocorrect
Team Cobra
The Bees kNEES
The Bunco Bees
The Chomskbees
The Eurypterrifics
The LACS Alternative Spellerz
The Spell Sesquicentennials
The Spellicans
We Spell Krazy Good
Westhill <Ortho> Graphics
y=mx+bee

Team Sponsors

Robert Abrams
Anchor Capital Management
Anonymous (2)
Audrey Edelman Realty USA
Avital's Apiaries
Belle Sherman Elementary PTA
Carol Bushberg Real Estate
Caroline Elementary PTA
Cayuga Radio Group
CFCU Community Credit Union
Chemung Canal Trust Company
Bob and Elle Conti
Cornell Office of Community Relations
C.S.P. Management
Harris Beach PLLC
Hunt Engineers, Architects, & Land Surveyors
Ithaca College Education Department
Ithaca Council of PTAs
Ithaca High School PTA
The Loehr Family
Robert Maciel Associates
Northeast Elementary PTA
Frank and Susan Piliero
Sciarabba Walker & Co, LLP
The Spellicans
Tompkins Insurance Agencies
Trane U.S., Inc.
True Insurance
UPS Store of Ithaca
Wegmans
Wells Fargo Advisors
Westhill Graphics
Wordsmyth
WSKG

Refreshment Donors

Aladdin's Natural Eatery
B & W Supply Company
Collegetown Bagels
Cornell Orchards
Ithaca Coffee Company
Mark's Pizzeria
Ned's Pizzeria
P&C Fresh
Subway
Wings Over Ithaca

Silent Auction Donors

Agava
Argos Inn
Avital's Apiaries
CTB
Cayuga Nature Center
Coltivare
Cornell Plantations
Cotton Patch Quilts
Country Club of Ithaca
Gola Osteria
Hangar Theatre
The History Center of Tompkins County
Inlet Island Café
Island Health and Fitness
Johnson Museum of Art
LaTourelle Resort and Spa
Mighty Yoga
Museum of the Earth at PRI
Patterson's Service Station
Primitive Pursuits
Quilting Friends: Peggy Hill, Judy Steele, and Marcie Wyant
Rasa Spa
Red Feet Wine Market & Spirit Provisions
Ruloff's
Tompkins County Public Library
William Henry Miller Inn
Bool's Flower Shop
Marina Caillaud and Bryan Danforth
Cat's Pajamas
Monroe Payne Photography

Program Advertisers

Acahti Design & Consulting
Hair, Etc.
Holt Architects
Hooplah
Pelligrino's Saab Service
Jolene Rightmyer
Peter Schwartz, MD, Opthalmology
Kate Seaman
Therm, inc.
Travis Hyde Properties
Olivia Wahl

IPEI Spelling Bee Sunday, WHCU News Talk, Feb. 23, 2015

IPEI Adult Spelling Bee, WHCU News Talk, Feb. 16, 2015

Ithaca Journal Story: Spelling Bee event spells cash for schools

We Spell Krazy Good (WSKG) Wins IPEI's 16th Annual Adult Spelling Bee

WRED Features Bee Highlights

View the event program in pdf format featuring all spellers, supporters, and sponsors!

After four preliminary rounds with seven teams in each, four finalist teams advanced to the championship round at the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) 16th Annual Adult Spelling Bee. After 84 words were spelled correctly in front of a crowd of 250 community members of all ages, two teams remained. The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education team (Board of Ed Buzz) sparred with the WSKG broadcasters (We Spell Krazy Good) through four more challenging words before a winner could be determined. WSKG correctly spelled "passementerie" which is an ornamental edging or trimming made of braid, cord, gimp, beading, or metallic thread. The other finalist teams were staff and parents from ICSD elementary schools: BJM Spell Casters and Takin' Care of Business from Fall Creek.

The Bee raised over $25,000 to support IPEI's grants for teachers. Held in the Ithaca High School Wellness Center Gym, there was no admission charge for the annual family-friendly event that featured 28 spelling teams of three adults each competing for the championship Fuzzy Bee trophy. Funds were raised through event sponsorships, team sponsorships, program advertisements, pledges based on correctly spelled words, and a silent auction.

Chemung Canal Trust Company, the Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor for the fourth year, was joined by Red Ribbon Finalist Sponsor Wells Fargo Financial Advisors and two Gold Ribbon Runner Up Sponsors, Cayuga Radio Group and Sciarabba Walker & Co. Their corporate support covers all event expenses so that team sponsorships and other event income directly supports grants for teachers. West Hill Graphics and Calf Audio are also key event partners.

This popular community event is run like an official spelling bee, with rules, a pronouncer, MCs, a timekeeper, and three judges. David Feldshuh pronounced the words while timekeeper Geoff Dunn alerted spellers when their time to consider the correct spelling expired. Judges included IPEI founder Ralph Jones as well as Paulette Manos and Deborah Lynn. Bee MCs were Greg Bostwick and George Preston.

Teams were known by creative names such as We Spell Krazy Good (WSKG), BJM Spell Casters, 3 of 6,000, Takin' Care of Buzz-ness, Spellabrate Good Times - Come On, Don't Stop Bee-lievin', The LACS Alternative Spellerz, and the Hilarious Spell-Loehrs. Two teams were back after multiple championships: the Spellicans and Fine Arts "Word" Boosters. Teams were comprised of community members who want to support local public education and enjoy spelling. Others were closely connected to the Ithaca City School District (ICSD): Ithaca Teachers Association, ICSD Administration, ICSD Board of Education, Fall Creek Elementary School, BJ Martin Elementary School, Belle Sherman Elementary School, Caroline Elementary School, Ithaca High School PTA, Ithaca High School Math Department, Lehman Alternative Community School, Fine Arts Booster Group, IthacaSTEM Advocates, and the Ithaca Council of PTAs.

Teams represented the event sponsors and team sponsors such as CFCU, Wegmans, Greenstar, Carol Bushberg Real Estate, Audrey Edelman RealtyUSA, Ithaca College, Harris Beach PLLC, CSP Management, Hunt Engineers, UPS Store, Ambis Dental, Anchor Capital Management, Cats Pajamas, Buell-Mix Properties, Cotterill Agency, Haylor Freyer & Coon, Robert Maciel Associates, Midstate Basement Authority, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and Wordsmyth. Championship Round prizes were provided by DonorsChoose.org and Steve Ryan.

Refreshments were donated by Aladdin's Natural Eatery, B & W Supply Company, Collegetown Bagels, Cornell Orchards, Ithaca Coffee Company, Mark's Pizzeria, Moe's Southwest Grill, Ned's Pizzeria, P&C Fresh, Subway, Tops, and Wings Over Ithaca. A new component of the Bee was a silent auction of 43 items from restaurants, museums, retail shops, salons and spas, educational organizations, and inns. In addition, this year's event program featured advertisements from more generous businesses.

Events like the Spelling Bee depend on participation of many. The Bee Committee was chaired by IPEI board member Judy Stewart and supported by IPEI Programs and Events Manager Julie Langenbacher. Nora Shang, Karen Yearwood, Julie Biehn, Deirdre Hay, Usha Raman, Connie Patterson and Mary Grainger were committee members, and all IPEI board members assisted in event preparation and production, too. The Ithaca High School Code Red Robotics Team members and Science Olympiad members assisted at the event including support for this year's Bee fairies, Meira Braun and Grace Blodgett.

WRED, Ithaca High School's state-of-the-art television production facility and course, offers Digital Media students the opportunity to produce shows in a real-world environment for the web and for cable. Thanks to Steve Cass and his students, WRED recorded the Bee for live stream. Go to www.useducationtv.com and click Find a School. Search "Ithaca High School" to link to it after March 2 as well. Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSbLAukpR0DDlfeElWopK8VkBgZkAGiKY

During the last school year IPEI awarded over $75,000 in grants, benefiting teachers and students at all grade levels in the ICSD. Grants are provided for innovative educational projects that promote collaboration between Ithaca schools and the community. IPEI is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that develops supportive community and private sector relationships with the Ithaca City School District. For more information, see www.ipei.org.

Championship Round Prizes provided by DonorsChoose.org and Steve Ryan.

IPEI Spelling Bee Teams

Ithaca Teachers Association
The Eurypterrifics
IHS Buzzzzz
Westhill Graphics
Wegmaniacs
Fine Arts "Word" Boosters
BJM Spell Casters
3 of 6,000+
CFCU Spellers
Takin' Care of Buzz-ness!
Grimm's Lawyers
Parental Prowess
Spellabrate Good Times, Come On!
The LACS Alternative Spellerz
The Bee-Attitudes
Board of Ed Buzz
y=mx+bee
Hospideedoodah
Caroline Cougar Conquerors
The Bunco Bees
Family Buzzers
The Spellicans
Don't Stop Bee-lievin'!
We Spell Krazy Good
Belle Sherman PTA
Hilarious Spell-Loehrs
IthacaSTEM Orthographers
Artful Spellerz

Team Sponsors

Robert Abrams
Ambis Center for Dental Medicine
Anchor Capital Management
Anonymous (2)
Audrey Edelman Realty USA
Avital's Apiaries
Belle Sherman Elementary PTA
Buell-Mix Properties
Carol Bushberg Real Estate
CFCU
C.S.P. Management
Caroline Elementary PTA
Cat's Pajamas
Cayuga Radio Group
Chemung Canal Trust Company
Cotterill Agency, Inc.
Fall Creek Teachers
FOUND
Greenstar Natural Foods Market
Harris Beach PLLC
Haylor Freyer & Coon, Inc.
Hunt Engineers, Architects, & Land Surveyors
Ithaca College
Ithaca Council of PTAs
Ithaca High School PTA
IthacaSTEM Advocates
The Loehr Family
Robert Maciel Associates
Midstate Basement Authority
Dewi Rainey
Sciarabba Walker & Co, LLP
Tompkins Insurance Agencies
UPS Store of Ithaca
Wegmans
Wells Fargo Advisors
Westhill Graphics
Stephanie Wiles and Jeff Rubin
Wordsmyth
WSKG

Refreshment Donors

Aladdin's Natural Eatery
B & W Supply Company
Collegetown Bagels
Cornell Orchards
Ithaca Coffee Company
Mark's Pizzeria
Moe's Southwest Grill
Ned's Pizzeria
P&C Fresh
Subway
Tops
Wings Over Ithaca

Silent Auction Donors

Agava
Alphabet Soup
Argos Inn
Big Red Barber Shop
Buffalo Street Books
Cayuga Nature Center
Contemporary Trends
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Cornell Plantations
Cotton Patch Quilts
Country Club of Ithaca
DeWitt Mall Merchants
Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club
Hair Graphics Salon and Day Spa
Hangar Theatre
Dee Hay Designs Jewelry
Head Over Heels Gymnastics
The History Center of Tompkins County
Inlet Island Cafe
Island Health and Fitness
Ithaca Flower Shop
Ithaca Yacht Club
The Jewelbox
Johnson Museum of Art
Knitting,ETC
Kumon Math and Reading Center
LaTourelle Resort and Spa
Life's So Sweet Chocolates
Mama Goose/Mimi's Attic
Mansour Jewelers
Mathnasium
Mercato Bar and Kitchen
Monroe Payne Photography
Museum of the Earth at PRI
Parakeet Feet
Patterson's Service Station
Primitive Pursuits
Quilters Corner
Rasa Spa
Red Feet Wine Market
Sciencenter
Seishi Honbu Karate
TidBits Publishing
Wade Apiaries
Wiles Guitar Studio
William Henry Miller Inn

Program Advertisers

Pellegrino's Saab Service
Moravec Construction
Peter Schwartz, MD, Opthalmology
Therm Incorporated
Dick Dutton, Painting and Drywall
Kate Seaman, Warren Real Estate
Snug Planet
Linda Hirvonen
Kumon
Kay Tien, Acahti Design and Consulting
Olivia Wahl
Dave Wahl Warren Real Estate
Northeast Pediatrics
FLWBA
Travis Hyde Properties

Spelling Bee

15th Annual Spelling Bee featured these Spellers, Sponsors, Donors and Volunteers--THANKS EVERYONE!

Fine Arts "Word" Boosters Victorious on March 3

The Fine Arts "Word" Boosters; Ellie Hobbie, Anne Hobbes and Linda Loomis; correctly spelled "bezoar" to win the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 3, and have their name engraved on the Fuzzy Bee Trophy. They advanced to the championship words by winning one of four preliminary rounds along with The Discovery Trail, We Spell Krazy Good, and Two Engineers and a German. At the start there were 24 teams sponsored by numerous businesses, organizations, and individuals.

"We congratulate the Fine Arts 'Word' Boosters who were spelling in the ninth bee, and all participants who joined together in Ithaca High's Bliss Gym. Yet, the real winners are the students and teachers of the Ithaca schools since IPEI is focused on enhancing educational opportunities," expressed Jennifer Engel, IPEI's vice president.

This year's Spelling Bee was the 15th organized by IPEI to raise funds for its Teacher Grants program. With the support of Chemung Canal Trust Company, the Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor, and Wells Fargo Financial Advisors and Cat's Pajamas, the Red and Gold Ribbon Finalist Sponsors; and the donations of refreshments, prizes, media, audio and graphics services; approximately $16,000 was raised this year.

In celebration of 15 years of Spelling Bees, IPEI presented certificates to everyone who has been involved in five or more bees. Over 70 spellers, sponsors and volunteers have been loyal participants. Since it was the first Bee for some, they were encouraged to return again for this fun fundraiser by Engel, one of the Bee founders. She said, "We appreciate everyone who has ever participated whether for one year or for fifteen, but today wanted to recognize the very loyal multi-year Bee sponsors and spellers who have shown their long term commitment to IPEI's mission."

Friends and family of the spellers were part of the crowd that also included community members of all ages. The Bee runs like an official spelling bee, with rules, a pronouncer, MCs, a timekeeper, and four judges. Jean McPheeters pronounced the words while timekeeper Martha Hardesty alerted spellers when their time to consider the correct spelling had expired. Judges included IPEI founder Ralph Jones, Mayor Svante Myrick, Paulette Manos and Deborah Lynn. Bee MCs were Greg Bostwick and George Preston.

Teams were known by creative names such as The Bee-Attitudes, Spellasaurus, Code Red Robobees, A-B normals, and the Spellicans with their stuffed pelican mascot. Some represent organizations like Ithaca Rotary Club, Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau, Hospicare, Family and Children's Service, and Tompkins County Recycling. Some teams were comprised of friends who want to support local public education and who enjoy spelling. Others are closely connected to the Ithaca City School District (ICSD): Ithaca Teachers Association, ICSD Administration, ICSD Board of Education, Fall Creek Elementary School, Lehman Alternative Community School, Fine Arts Booster Group and the Ithaca Council of PTAs.

Teams represented sponsors such as Tompkins Trust Company, Cayuga Radio Group, Wegmans, Greenstar, Carol Bushberg Real Estate, Warren Real Estate, Audrey Edelman RealtyUSA, Ithaca College, Kionix, Harris Beach PLLC, CSP Management, Hunt Engineers, Hair Etc., Haylor Freyer and Coon, WSKG, Baker Travel, Tompkins Insurance, East Hill Plaza merchants, Belle Sherman and Fall Creek PTAs, CBORD, and the UPS Store Collegetown.

Refreshments were donated by Aladdin's Natural Eatery, Ithaca Coffee Company, Moe's Southwest Grill, P&C Fresh, Subway, Tops, and Wings Over Ithaca. Prizes were contributed by Agway, Emmy's Organics, Cat's Pajamas, DonorsChoose.org, Hangar Theatre, Heron Creek Cards and Gifts, Life's So Sweet Chocolates, Susan McCutcheon, Micky Roof and the Jewel Box, Panera Bread, The Piggery, and Purity Ice Cream.

Events like the Spelling Bee depend on participation by many. The Bee Committee was chaired by IPEI board member Judy Stewart and supported by IPEI Administrative and Program Associate Julie Langenbacher. Nora Shang, Karen Yearwood, Denise Gomber and Mary Grainger were committee members, and all IPEI board members assisted in event preparation and production, too. The Ithaca High School Brain Team members volunteered with IPEI on March 3 while Isabel and Emily Rubin supported this year's Bee fairies, Nuala and Anastasia Ugine.

IPEI is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that develops supportive community and private sector relationships with the Ithaca City School District. For more information, see www.ipei.org.

Download the entry forms below:

 

IPEI'S 13th Annual Adult Spelling Bee was Sunday, November 13

Fall Creek Elementary School November 2011 Assembly Featuring Spelling "Bee"

The 200 community members who attended the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) 13th Annual Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, November 13 in Ithaca High School's Bliss Gym witnessed the "thrill of victory and agony of defeat"? for a good cause.The Spellicans with team members Melissa Smith, Russ Charif and Beth Howard took home the trophy as the top spellers for the third year in a row. When the Fall Creek Stingers stumbled on "umfaan," a correct spelling offered by The Spellicans clinched the title. (An umfaan is a southern African boy who cares for small children or performs domestic work.)

For Stinger team member Chris Batman-Mize, who is PTA president at Fall Creek Elementary School, making the final pairing was a surprise. "Shocked and amazed," she said about her team's run to the finals; she was joined by Chuck Donovan, and Katherine Lockwood. Interested in more than just the competition, her team joined the event because "it raises money for a really good cause and we at Fall Creek have benefited immensely from IPEI; we're just here to celebrate them and our teachers."

Representatives of Chemung Canal Trust Company, the 2010 and 2011 Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor attended the event as well as Wells Fargo Financial Advisors and Cat's Pajamas, the Red and Gold Ribbon Finalist Sponsors. Their corporate support covered all event expenses so that the 24 team sponsorships directly support Teacher Grants. Cayuga Radio Group is the Spelling Bee's media sponsor broadcasted the event live on one of its seven radio stations, WNYY 1470 AM.

Complimentary refreshments were served from local businesses such as Subway, Alladin Natural Eatery, Cornell Orchards, Ludgate Farm, Edgewood Bakery, P&C Fresh, Wegmans, Tops, and Ithaca Coffee Company. Although there is no admission to be a spectator at the Bee, attendees can support Teacher Grants while trying to win exciting prizes from the Hangar Theatre, Purity Ice Cream, Rasa Spa, Island Health and Fitness, Cat's Pajamas, and other local businesses. The champion and finalist teams also received DonorsChoose.Org giving cards. In addition, Patricia Musa was the audience member who received an iPad2 tablet, provided by an anonymous donor.

Spelling Bee teams chose fun names that are clues to their affiliation such as the Hil-Loehr-ious Spel-Loehrs, Hospicharacters, Code Red Robo-bees, I.Y.Bees, and The Invented Spelrz. Ithaca's Superintendent of Schools Luvelle Brown with central administrators Karen Keller and Lisa Harris competed as did the Lake Street Liaisons (Board of Education members Eldred Harris, Sean Eversley Bradwell and Pat Wasilyw). Teams were sponsored by spellers themselves and by a wide range of businesses from Kionix and Tompkins Trust Company to Holdsworth Law and Pellegrino Saab (see list of sponsors, teams and spellers below).

"Chuck's Long View"? was a team sponsored by the family of Chuck Brodhead, a founding board member of IPEI who was active with the Spelling Bee and many community activities. This year's Bee was presented and broadcast in memory of Brodhead.

IPEI Board members organized the Bee with the assistance of the staff of Calf Audio and the Ithaca High School; as well as Masters of Ceremonies Greg Bostwick and George Preston; Pronouncer Chris Allinger; Timekeeper Jarett Powers; and Judges Ralph Jones, Deborah Lynn, and Paulette Manos. Clara Weber, Fall Creek Elementary School student, was the "Bee Fairy"?. She is the daughter of speller Katherine Lockwood and team sponsor and speller Timothy Weber.

IPEI is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that develops supportive community and private sector relationships with the Ithaca City School District. For more information, see www.ipei.org, ipei@ipei.org or call 256-4734.


Sponsors and Spelling Teams

Kionix
Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc.
Holdsworth Law Firm
Raymond and Joan Loehr
Hunt Engineers Architects and Land Surveyors PC
Robert Abrams
Robert Maciel Associates
Family of Chuck Brodhead
Chris and Melinda Muller
C.S.P. Management
Anonymous (3)
Wegmans
Pellegrino's Saab Service
Ithaca College
IHS Code Red Robotics Team
Audrey Edelman/Realty USA
Sarita Warshawsky
Bunco Bees
Tompkins Trust Company
Dr. Frank Piliero Oral Surgery
Warren Real Estate
Hair, Etc.
Fall Creek PTA
Northstar House

The Bee-Attitudes
There Will Be Bees
West "Hive" Graphics
Code Red Robo-Bees #1
Code Red Robo-Bees #2
CRG "Bee" Casters
The Spellicans
Chuck's Long View
Wegmaniacs
Fall Creek Stingers
Fine Arts "Word" Boosters
The Invented Spelrz
Spellegrinos
The Apiologicians
Parental Prowess
Bunco Bees
Lake Street Liaisons
Hospicharacters
Family Buzzers
The I.Y. Bees
To Bee or Not to Bee
e-Lehman-ators
Hi-Loehr-ious Spel-Loehrs
Warren Real Estate


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