2014 Spelling Bee champs

The Fillies Finish First!

By Steve Harrison

The 5th Annual Catholic Charity of Livingston County Spelling Bee was held last Thursday evening at the Geneseo High School Auditorium. The Genesee Valley Penny Saver team of Carole Bennett, Audrey Blount and Janet Olexy successfully conquered the word “onomatopoeia” to finish first in the hotly contested bee. Seventeen teams vied for the title of champ and $25 gift certificates from David Mann Jeweler.

Last year's champs returned as "The New Greeks"

Last year’s champs returned as “The Greeks”

The teams: The Greeks, Monday Evening Class, The Arc-Hive’s, CCLC Mentors & Volunteers,Geneseo Kiwanis, Workforce Development, SUNY Teachers, Geneseo High School, A Deacon between Two Nuns, Fidelis, Stellar Spellers, Literacy Wordsmiths, Dougherty’s Diggers, Livonia Rotary, Hillside Children’s Center and Dansville Rotary.

"The Monday Evening Class" checks the rules prior to the start of the Bee

“The Monday Evening Class” checks the rulebook  prior to the start of the Bee

All teams survived the first two rounds, then the words became longer, tougher and even challenged Don Alhart and Wes Kennison, the announcers, as to pronunciation. Michelle Dourie, the Bee coordinator, added some fun twists this year with audience participation. When stumped, teams could enlist the help of the fans by using their “life-line.” Throughout the Bee, ticket numbers were drawn, giving someone a chance  to correctly spell a word, in order to win a prize package!

"We're not afraid to spell that word!" The Workforce Development Team

“We’re not afraid to spell that word!” The Workforce Development Team

The real winner, of course, was Catholic Charities and the important work they do in Livingston County.  Dom Genova, from Genesee Valley Motors came up with a bonus word that the Fillies successfully spelled – “FORD” and an additional $1000 was given to CC. (The Fillies each received a $100 gift certificate as well, for correctly spelling the challenge word.)

Cheers to all the contestants, the generous sponsors and all the work the Catholic Charity staff puts into this fun annual event. You enrich our lives by the work you do and by hosting a 1st class spelling bee!

Featured photo: The Fillies wait while Don Alhart and Wes Kennison confer with  judges Sheriff Tom Dougherty and  WBEE’s Terry Clifford before declaring them the 2014 Spelling Bee Champions.

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