Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy staff are once again looking for teams to sign up for the adult spelling bee to be Oct. 24 at the Van Buren Public Library.
This is the second year for the fundraiser, and Dee Carroll, director for CCVL, is looking to sign up 15 three-person teams to participate in the bee, he said.
Teams can be 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 - will be posted at the event.
Besides the publicity, teams and sponsors will be helping out a good cause, Carroll said.
"With the success we enjoyed last year, we had to take the opportunity to share our mission again this year - to eradicate the blight of adult illiteracy that is such a problem in our society today but is often unnoticed," Carroll said.
Carroll is looking for donations for door prizes to come from local businesses, he said. Some of the best door prizes last year were a Christmas wreath from Williams Florist and Gifts in Van Buren, a box of chocolates from Kopper Kettle Candies and numerous gift cards, Carroll said.
So far this year, a sampler basket has been donated by Bryant Preserving Co. in Alma and several unique gifts from shops on Historic Main Street in Van Buren, he 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.
Carroll also is encouraging teams to bring their own cheer section this year.
"Everybody attending enjoyed the cheer section that Morton Family Dentistry brought along last year," Carroll said, adding that the group cheered after each time their teams spelled a word correctly.
Carroll hopes to see a competitive spirit grow each year between teams participating in the event, he said.
For added fun, awards will be given for "First Out" to the team that is eliminated first for a misspelling and to the best cheer team as decided by the audience, Carroll said.
"This is a fun event," Carroll said. "We don’t want it to be a chore for the entries, we want them to come and have a good time."
Tickets for door prizes will be $1 each or six for $5. Winners will be called out intermittently during the bee, and will have the option to choose from any prizes on display.
Peter Van Lancker will be the moderator and will direct the flow of the quiz, Carroll said. Two judges will rule on spelling questions and answers. A rules keeper will manage the time clock, and monitor or clarify for infractions.
Drinks and popcorn will be offered at a price of 50 cents each.