Meant to B-E-E

Get ready to spell your P-A-N-T-S off.

Maybe you lost your elementary school spelling bee after adding an extra “C” to “conscientious” or leaving an “M” out of “accommodate.” Either way, your second chance has finally arrived. On Thursday, March 7, Smart Start Partnership for Children will hold the inaugural Henderson County Adult Spelling Bee Championship. The competition will feature 12 teams of four spellers ages 18 plus. During the first round, each speller will recite a word individually. “In the subsequent rounds, teams will have 30 seconds to write the word on a whiteboard,” explains Kelly Hart, program director at Smart Start. Three judges — Mark Garrett, superintendent of Henderson County Public Schools; Sadie Crum, assistant director of the Weekday School of First United Methodist Church, and Jude Stipe, 2023 Kiwanis Spelling Bee champion — will then determine if the spellings are correct. Any team that makes a mistake is out. This continues until the competition dwindles to two teams, at which point participants will spell words individually until one team reigns supreme. According to Summer Stipe, vice chair of the nonprofit’s board of directors, the event is the perfect opportunity to redeem yourself after a “traumatic” childhood spelling bee experience. It’s also a great way to help local kids succeed. “Words and reading fit right in with our mission to build a strong foundation for children in Henderson County,” says Stipe.  

The Henderson County Adult Spelling Bee Championship happens Thursday, March 7, 5:30-8pm at Continuum Art (147C 1st Ave. East, Hendersonville). The entry fee for teams is $250. Spectator tickets are $50.

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