Spelling Bee Scheduled for March 5

January 5, 2017

20160306-151452Mark your calendars for the 19th Annual IPEI Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 5. It’s a favorite family-friendly community event with 32 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 88 grants totaling over $62,000 were 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.


Register by February 10 to spell or sponsor, as well as to advertise in program or donate to the silent auction.  All the ways to participate are found here!


To add another layer of challenge, the format for the final Championship round will remain a surprise this year. It may differ from the written format of rounds one through four. The rules will be announced between the fourth and final rounds keeping all participants in suspense!

Thanks to the Bee’s event sponsors, all other proceeds go directly toward funding IPEI grants. The Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor is the Ainslie Reilly Group at Morgan Stanley, and the Red Ribbon Finalist Sponsor is Cayuga Radio Group. Gold Ribbon Sponsors are Tompkins Trust Company, Sciarabba Walker, Trane US, and Cornell Catering. Additional event sponsors are being sought.

Spelling Bee team entry fees (minimum $400 each) are paid by local businesses and organizations or by the spellers themselves. Entry forms can be downloaded and online gifts made from the IPEI website: http://www.ipei.org/spelling-bee/


During the Bee there’s also 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 support.


In advance of March 5, there will be opportunities to purchase chances to win the quilt created by Connie Patterson, Peggy Hill, Judy Steele and Marcie Wyant. In addition to tickets being available at ICSD arts events this winter, the quilt will be on display at Cat’s Pajamas store in the DeWitt Mall on Gallery Night, February 3.

Contact the Spelling Bee Committee, ipei@ipei.org to get involved or with questions. Co-chairs are Jennifer Biloski, jbiloski@twcny.rr.com, and Steve Manley, steven.manley@ipei.org, 607-256-4734.

Looking for a Special Gift to ICSD at the Holidays?Sign Up by Feb 13 to Participate in Spelling Bee