Join Us as Spellers, Sponsors, Spectators!

January 18, 2016


It’s time to sign up to spell or sponsor– Deadline is Feb. 12!

Mark your calendars for the 18th Annual IPEI Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ithaca High School Wellness Center Gym. The Bee is a family-friendly community event with 28 spelling bee teams – three team members each – as well as an official pronouncer, timekeeper, and judges.

Free and open to the public, it 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.

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. This year there will be a play area available for children accompanied by a parent or caregiver, and a photo booth for both teams and spectators. 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 who can choose to use the GiveGab peer-to-peer fundraising format set up by IPEI. Online registration is available as well as entry form documents that can be downloaded from Spelling Bee Events page here.

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. The quilt that has been created by retired teachers and friends of IPEI (Peggy Hill, Connie Patterson, Judy Steele and Marcie Wyant) and will be on display at DeWitt Mall during Gallery Night on February 5.
Contact the Spelling Bee Committee, to get involved or with questions. The chair is Jennifer Biloski,, 607-227-1905.

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