It was a banner evening for the Brant Skills Centre at the 12th Annual Adult Spelling Bee, held on June 4, 2015 at Braemar House School. The event raised $9,100; more than any other year in its 12-year history. The 2014 Spelling Bee winners, the Histerical Society (comprised of members of the South Dumfries Historical Society; David Simpson, Deb Andre and Cliff Jones) were repeat champions, winning the 2015 event after 18 rounds and spelling “Dicotyledon” correctly.
A total of ten teams entered the competition. Each team raised pledges for the opportunity to compete for the coveted first place trophy. The teams were: Braemar House School – Word Nerds; Brant County Health Unit – The Queen Bees; Brant News – The Grammatical Errors; Brant Skills Centre – Spellers on Board; Flying Camel Advertising, Design + PR – The Winged Wordies; GenNext – Commonwealth of Knowledge; Millards – The Bean Counters; St. Leonard’s Community Services – The Punktuators; Steer Davies Gleave – Spellbound Express; and the South Dumfries Historical Society – The Histerical Society.
Finishing in second place behind the Histerical Society were the Spellers on Board (Ann Elwood, Andrew Nicholls) from the Brant Skills Centre (eliminated after misspelling geosynchronous), and finishing third were first-time competitors the Queen Bees (Alison Schure, Naika Duvalsaint, Kathy Lickley) from the Brant County Health Unit (eliminated after misspelling tickicidal).
City of Brantford Town Crier David McKee presided as Master of Ceremonies. Event officials included County of Brant Public Library CEO Gay Kozak Selby as scribe, Brant Skills Centre volunteer Leslie Ion as pronouncer, Wray Underhill as the Mulligan Man, and County of Brant Councillor Robert Chambers, Brant Skills Centre instructor Liz Gosse and volunteer Ed Ackworth as judges.
The Literacy Cup, sponsored by Enterprise Brant, is presented to the team that raises the most funds. This year the cup was presented to the Spellbound Express team from Steer Davies Gleave. The Team Spirit prize, presented to the team with the greatest spirit and fan support, went to the St. Leonard’s Community Services – The Punktuators. The top individual fundraiser prize, donated by Media Dimensions Ltd., went to Mikki Basha of the Punktuators.
“We are so thrilled that this year’s Spelling Bee was such a great success,” said Lori Bruner, Executive Director of the Brant Skills Centre. “The event would not be possible without the support of our many sponsors and donors, and of course our enthusiastic competitors who not only raise funds, but participate in a fun, community-building event. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Financial sponsors for the 2015 Adult Spelling Bee include: Silver Sponsor – TD Bank Group; Bronze Sponsors – Andrew Nicolls, Partner Waterous Holden Amey Hitchon Law Firm, GK York Management Services Inc., Gerry Smits Law Firm, Sharlene Mitchell & Associates, Wilfrid Laurier University, Millards; Supporter Sponsors – Brian D. Cochrane C.A., Coleman Custom Renovations, Jebbo’s Computer Warehouse, Media Dimensions Ltd., Starbucks and The Co-operators. The venue for the event was provided by Braemar House School, and Starbucks provided coffee, tea and baristas to serve.
Prize donors included: Al Dente, Ann Elwood, Barb Tomkins, BMO Bank of Montreal, Brant Family Eye Care, Brantford Chamber of Commerce, Brantford Symphony Orchestra, County of Brant Library, East Side Mario’s, Freshco, Gran Sassos, Grand River Conservation Authority, Jane Daw, Jebbo’s Computer Warehouse, Jeff’s At Work Office Furniture, Jennifer Chowhan, John & Lizzie Steinberg, John Prosser, Kim Knapp – TD, Leslie Ion, Liz McQuade, Media Dimensions, Michelle Murphy – Jack Rabbits, Nick’s No Frill’s – Paris, Nicol Florist, Northridge Public Golf Course, Pamela Bamsey, Pizza Hut, Salon Mirage, Shirley’s Services, Susan Cornell, Susan Wakeley , Tim Hortons – West/Dundas Location, Tourism Brantford, and Zehrs – Fairview