The words were tough. The rounds were long. But Root Inc. prevailed as the spelling champs.
“We always get really excited for the event,” said Megan Schmidt, a member of the Root team. “It’s always really fun.”
The 2017 annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee on Thursday was held at The Pinnacle in Maumee, where nearly 200 people gathered and 38 teams competed. The event raised about $75,000 for Read for Literacy and Claire’s Day. The spelling bee is Read For Literacy’s biggest fund-raiser.
Diana Bush, interim executive director for Read for Literacy and co-director of the 2017 spelling bee, said the money raised at the event helps the organization continue providing literary services in the greater Toledo area.
WATCH: 30th annual spelling bee
“We’re focused on increasing literacy with both adults and young children,” she said.
After 12 rounds of spelling words, Root came in first place, Toledo Symphony placed second, and Buckeye Broadband placed third. Root held a lead from start to finish.
Despite coming in third, members of the Buckeye Broadband team said they “had a blast.”
“I think we experimented with every possible wrong combination before getting the right spelling for some of the words,” said Jeff Abbas, a member of the Buckeye Broadband team.
Buckeye Broadband, formerly known as Buckeye CableSystem, is owned by Block Communications Inc., which also is the parent company of The Blade.
There were several words most teams struggled with during the contest. One word that gave teams difficulty was “mukhtar,” which is the title given to the head of local governments, towns, or villages in Turkey and some Arab countries.
Among the other words the participants were asked to spell: falciform, triptych, pirouetted, liege, ascetic, and Pfeffernusse.
Several groups across the Toledo region participated, including the Toledo Police Department, Toledo Fire and Rescue operations, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, Toledo Community Foundation, and Owens Corning.
Although teams were competitive, there was a festive atmosphere during the contest.
Spirited celebrations rang out when teams spelled a word correctly with the rattling of noisemakers and waving of yellow and black pom-poms.
“They’re spelling and having fun, but it’s really about helping the community with literacy,” Ms. Bush said. “It’s raising money for something very important.”
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