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Chamber gearing up for Adult Spelling Bee

ELIZABETH HEFFNER
Staff Writer

The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and The Lincoln County Public Education Foundation are gearing up for their 17th Annual Adult Spelling Bee, a fundraising event that brings businesses, civic clubs, churches and schools together.
“The idea was brought to the Chamber by board member Dr. Martin Eaddy, who was superintendent at the time,” Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce President Ken Kindley said.
According to Kindley, Eaddy got the idea from a school system in Roanoke Rapids, which had raised $14,000 through its event. Over the years, Kindley said the annual event generally raises $14,000 to $16,000 per year.
“Half of the money goes to the Chamber to help us with operation costs, and the other half goes to the county’s education foundation,” Kindley said. “A lot of the money raised for the Lincoln County Education Foundation goes to the schools to purchase innovative technology and teaching grants,” Kindley said.
Unlike traditional school spelling bees where a contestant is required to spell the word individually, the Adult Spelling Bee allows the team, comprised of four members, to spell the assigned word through collaboration. Rather than standing up and spelling the word aloud, teams are instructed to write the words down for the judges after mutually determining what they deem to be the correct spelling.  Words are selected from the Scripps Howard Spelling Guide and Webster’s New World Dictionary.
“No one has to spell the word by themselves,” Kindley said. “After 30 seconds of collaborative efforts, the team captain then has 15 seconds to spell the word. They can also ask for the origin of the word as well.”
Teams who do misspell a word are then given the option to “buy” the word back for a $25 fee.
“There are three rounds in which you can buy back into the game: easy, medium and hard,” Kindley explained. “The easy round lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, while the medium and difficult rounds last about 30 minutes each. Then, there’s the Spell-Off round, where teams are not allowed to buy their way back into the game. That normally goes by pretty quickly.”
The spelling bee usually lasts around two hours, with the majority of the time spent in the medium and difficult rounds.
This year, Kindley expects more than 30 teams to participate from across the county.
The spelling bee will be held on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Citizens Center auditorium.  Those interested in learning more about this event should contact the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber at (704) 735-3096(704) 735-3096.

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