Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy’s fifth 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 adult spelling bee is meant to bring attention to our work and be a fun way for the community to participate in furthering that work,” Carroll said.

Teams can still sign up to participate, Carroll said. At least 12 three-person teams have already committed to take part in the bee, and Carroll said he is looking to sign another three teams.

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.

Last year’s winner, the Van Buren High School team, 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.

“There will be many fine gifts, accessories and activities donated by the community that will be drawn throughout the evening,” Carroll said. “Last year’s final drawing was for an Amazon Kindle.”

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 15 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.

Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman and Crawford County Judge John Hall will sit as judges relative to questionable spelling or word definition.

Broadcast journalist Pedro Rivera with KHBS-KHOG-TV will call out 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 ccvl@mynewroads.com.