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Root Inc. wins 30th annual Blade spelling bee

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    Fran Anderson, center, and Sheri Caldwell, right, celebrate their team's correct spelling of the word pirouette during the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19, at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    BCSN's Tom Cole kicks off the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19 at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Root Inc.'s team Ryan Baechle, bottom left, Kristen Fritz, bottom center left, Jodi Wellman, bottom center right, and Megan Schmidt, bottom right, cheer as they are announced the winners of the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19, at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Attendees listen as the rules are read at the start of the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19 at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Moderator and Pronouncer Paul Moffitt goes over the rules during the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19 at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Moderator and Pronouncer Paul Moffitt reads the first round word during the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19, at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    The Savage and Associates table gets their first word during the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19 at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Tony Krncevic, left, reacts to missing a word as he and his teammates at the Savage and Associates table compete during the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19, at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Valerie Kantorski and her other teammates from the Toledo Symphony sported newly-made headbands for the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19, at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Robbin Moser, left, and Annika Awls cheer on their fellow Toledo Community Foundation teammates during the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19 at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Judge Pat Lora, center, goes over a word with the Toledo Refining team Charles Kline, left, Anna Prochazka, center left, and Marilyn Rossnagel, right, during the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19, at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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    Buckeye Broadband team members, including Marcy Traynoff, center, celebrate coming in third place at the 30th Annual The Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee Thursday, October 19, at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

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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.” 

Contact Javonte Anderson at janderson@theblade.com419-724-6065, or on Twitter @JavonteA.

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