Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy’s sixth annual Adult Spelling Bee is Thursday at Van Buren High School.

 The bee is set to begin at 6 p.m. in the VBHS Fine Arts Auditorium, said Dee Carroll, director of Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy.

 In addition to providing financial support to the CCVL as its main annual fundraiser, the bee brings attention to literacy needs in the community and the group’s work, Carroll said.

 Volunteers with CCVL help area adults that have deficiencies in literacy skills and cannot read or write effectively enough to solve daily problems of life and living within the home, workplace and community, Carroll said. Proceeds go to benefit CCVL for daily costs and maintenance, he said.

 CCVL services are free to the students, Carroll said.

 “The spelling bee fundraiser is vital to pay for our annual operational costs, since we don’t charge for our services,” Carroll said. “Without a charge to clients or an established revenue source, we rely on fundraising events such as this.”

 Teams can still sign up to participate, Carroll said. At least 14 three-person teams have committed to take part in the bee, and Carroll said he is looking to sign at least one more team.

Teams of three are sponsored by local businesses or individuals, with a sign up fee of $175 per team. Signs with sponsors’ logos or names - including those who donate door prizes - are posted at the event.

 Additional sponsorships are available: gold sponsorships are $1,000, and silver are $500.

 Last year’s winner, Citizens Bank & Trust Co., will be defending their title, Carroll said.

 Carroll also encouraged those attending to purchase raffle tickets for one of the many door prizes that will be given out during the event as a way to provide additional support for CCVL.

 “We’ve gotten a lot of nice door prizes to give away, and we appreciate the community supporting us with their donations,” Carroll said.

 Raffle tickets will be sold at the door for $1 each or six for $5.

 Proceeds from the event will go toward general costs such as rent and utilities that cannot be paid for with the grants received by the non-profit organization, Carroll said.

 Words for the spell-off will come from the Scripps National Spelling Bee website, with four categories, Carroll said. Words used will get progressively more difficult as the bee goes on, he said.

 Teams can confer before spelling the word and are given 20 seconds to respond. The bee is single elimination, but teams will receive “mulligans” that will allow them to pass on two words. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners.

 A trophy will go to the “Furst Aut” team, the first to misspell a word and get knocked out of the competition.

 Cheer teams are also encouraged, and the most supportive cheer team wins a trophy at night’s end, Carroll said.

 “This year’s trophy is dedicated to the late Bill Johnston for the many years of his valued service to the Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy Council,” Carroll said.

 Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman and Dolores Chitwood will sit as judges relative to questionable spelling or word definition.

 Terry Carson, market president with Generations Bank, will call out door prize winners intermittently during the bee, who will have the option to choose from any prizes on display

 For team entry or door prize donations please call (479) 474-4594 or email at