Event spells success for literacy

It was hard to find anyone at a loss for words at the second annual Adult Spelling Bee Challenge hosted by Literacy Now at the Penticton Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.

  • May. 5, 2011 9:00 a.m.
Members of the Okanagan College Smellers team (left to right) Jan Higgins

Members of the Okanagan College Smellers team (left to right) Jan Higgins

It was hard to find anyone at a loss for words at the second annual Adult Spelling Bee Challenge hosted by Literacy Now at the Penticton Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.

With the venue and registration at full capacity, and almost $2,400 raised with proceeds going towards literacy projects in the South Okanagan Similkameen region, the event certainly was a success.

The competition was created to support and raise awareness for literacy by bringing citizens of all ages from the community together.

“We’re trying to support literacy from birth to seniors,” said Naomi Ludington, the event co-ordinator. “It’s the foundation of everything we do … It’s something that has to be nurtured and worked on continually.”

Literacy Now supports initiatives with focal points in health, family and the adult workplace. With double the participation of last year, 12 teams contended for the title of 2011 Spelling Bee Champions.

“Oh, the win — it was just so cool,” said Donna Henningson, spokesperson for the Man and Women in Black team of colleagues from the South Okanagan Women In Need Society, a non-profit society that assists abused women. “We deal with gals who are from a variety of walks of life, some of whom are struggling to get on with their lives. Literacy is a huge part of them doing it … It’s something we want to support.”

The most difficult word that the Man and Women in Black came across was ‘proboscis,’ an elongated appendage from the head of an animal or insect used for feeding or sucking, such as the trunk of an elephant.

“I’m an English major, I’m a former reporter, but proboscis went right over my head,” said Henningson with a laugh.