09-20 LRSF Spelling Bee

At the finale of last year’s Spelling Bee, the 2017 winners — the LHS Band team 'The Treble Clefs' (from left, Bryden Wright, Joey Bailey and Noah Mousseau) — are surrounded by members of the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation Board and staff, as well as the evening’s volunteer judges, Marilyn Lynch and Karen Bianco, pronouncer Rick Crockford, and emcee Pat Kelly. (Courtesy Photo)

LACONIA — As summer winds down, the Lakes Region Scholarship office has been gearing up for its annual Community Spelling Bee, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Laconia High School auditorium.

The busy bees in the LRSF office are “buzzing” with activity, preparing for the upcoming Bee. Spelling word lists have been finalized and team sponsors have been contacted.

The Community Spelling Bee has been the major fundraising project of the Friends of the Foundation operating fund since 2000 and, last year, it raised more than $10,000 for the organization.

The foundation plans a fun evening for all present. In addition to the possibility of prizes for the teams who compete, everyone attending will get a free door prize ticket, giving them a chance to win one of the many prizes drawn between each of the five rounds. Prizes range from gift certificates from area restaurants and supermarkets to hair salon appointments and gift certificates for the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and the Capitol Center for the Arts. There is also a 50-50 raffle. Admission for those who come to watch the Bee is free.

Each year, teams from various area businesses, community organizations and schools come together for an evening of competition and fun, all to benefit a good cause. Teams are asked to dress in costume and many blend humor with their efforts to flabbergast the audience with their skills in orthography (spelling). The goal of each team is to make it to the final round and add their name to the list of winners of the much-sought-after Bee Trophy.

Bee teams are sponsored by area businesses or benefactors. The competition is lively and provides the audience with a unique evening’s entertainment. This year’s emcee will be local celebrity Pat Kelly, host of Good Morning NH on 107.7-The Pulse and WEMJ. The pronouncers will be veterans Rick Crockford and Rhetta Colon, while Karen Bianco and Mike Nolan will be manning the gavels as judges.

Last year, the winning team was the Treble Clefs, made up of members of the Laconia High School band. Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation Executive Director Paulette Loughlin said she hopes to see upcoming members of the LHS band come forward again this year to defend the title.

The Laconia Librarians have been asked to return again year. The Librarians are still looking to complete the coveted Bee “hat trick” with a third first-place title in an effort to tie the record set by the retired Class of 1977 team of Judy Ball, Ruth Turner McLaughlin, and Sherry Weeks.

The Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit organization that acts as a clearinghouse for scholarship funds from more than 260 donors. This year, the Foundation celebrated its 63rd anniversary and awarded more than $400,000 to nearly 300 local students. Over the 63 years, this local organization has awarded more than $6.5 million.

While the primary focus of the scholarship foundation is to generate more dollars for scholarships to benefit area students in their quest for continuing education, the operating costs to run the office continue to be an annual challenge. Support for the Community Spelling Bee allows foundation to continue its work in the community.

For more information, or to donate to the scholarship foundation, call 603-527-3533, email scholarship@lrscholarship.org, or mail to PO Box 7312, Gilford, NH 03247.

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