Ravenna – It was a spellbinding event on Friday, May 24, 2013, at the Ralph Regula Conference Center located at NEOMED in Rootstown, Ohio.  The Portage County Literacy Coalition (PCLC) held its 22nd annual “Jeopardy-Style” Spelling Bee.  This year there were five teams that competed against each other.  The Community Action Council of Portage County retuned to try and hold the winner’s plaque for another year against Deluxe Corporation of Streetsboro, Delta Systems, Inc. of Streetsboro, NEOMED of Rootstown, and “Team Herb” of Ravenna.  This year we had a very special team.  In July 2012, we lost a very special member of the Portage County Literacy Coalition, Herb Schoning.  He was a previous president and board member, a teacher, tutor, friend, and yearly team sponsor of “Group One.”   We had two Adult Basic and Literacy Education teachers and a volunteer tutor represent “Team Herb.”

The Spelling Bee kicked off with an easy round of words, which included:  “wag” and “low.”  Then the Bee took full swing into categories that included:  “Stumpers,” “Animal Instincts,” “Play’s the Thing,” “Decorator’s Delight,” “In Short,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” “Within Region,” “Mind Games,” “Sharp Dressed,” “Only U,” and “Q&A.”  These categories included a whirl of words such as:  “caudal,” “trug,” and “staccato.”  Eventually, teams started to depart with words:  “kudzu,” “sporran,” and “punee.”  Finally, silence fell across the room as NEOMED and Community Action Council sparred to the end.  The final words were “schadenfreude” and “touché.”  Community Action Council of Portage County took the win for another year!

The Portage County Literacy Coalition would like to thank all of their Community Partners for making this event a success, all the teams that participated, Woody’s Music of Kent, and NEOMED’S banquet facility for providing a fantastic luncheon, a great facility, and the yearly “Spririt Award,” which is given to Deluxe Corporation of Streetsboro for the best cheering abilities.   A special thank you goes out to Beverly Crites, the ABLE jobs/career counselor; Barb Elam, PCLC Secretary; and Laure Gauntner, PCLC President for their efforts in making this event a success.

The PCLC, a non-profit, raises money for scholarships for those that received their GED and are pursuing post-secondary education, training, or trade.  This yearly event is one of our main fundraisers.  Make sure you mark you calendar for next year’s Bee, which will happen on Friday, April 25, 2014.

If you have questions regarding the Spelling Bee, the PCLC, or would like to make a small donation, please call (330) 235-0020.