Can you spell ‘pressure’? Rotary Club bee set for Thursday

From Staff Reports

Get ready Thursday for another episode of "As the Word Turns."

At least, there should be plenty of soap opera-like suspense if tomorrow night's Second Annual Community Spelling Bee, Stew Supper and Auction is anything like last year's.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

The City National Bank team of Penney Hemby, Sally Gilmore and Don Sapaugh won the 1st Rotary Club spelling bee.

The doors will open at 5 p.m. at the Sulphur Springs High School cafeteria for a catered meal and viewing of silent auction items at the event, sponsored by the Sulphur Springs Rotary Club to benefit their scholarship fund and efforts for community literacy.

Tickets to the spelling bee will be $10 and are available from any Rotary Club member, at local banks, or at the door on Thursday.

Spelling team sponsors include Alliance Bank, Community Bank, Guaranty Bond Bank, Echo Publishing Co., Net Data, the city of Sulphur Springs, Farmers Electric Co-op, JB Weld, M&F Western Products and Hopkins County Memorial Hospital.

The returning champions are the team from City National Bank. Penney Hemby, Sally Gilmore and Don Sapaugh led that team to the trophy win, beating out JB Weld's trio after going back and forth for several rounds.

Craig Roberts, president of Guaranty Bond Bank-Sulphur Springs, will serve as master of ceremonies. Annada Jones will again be the spelling bee announcer. She also provides the words at the annual Hopkins County Spelling Bee, which will be held March 1.

In addition to dinner, music and entertainment, the $10 ticket buys a seat to some nail-biting battles at the "Jivin' at the Hive" spelling bee.

The competition is among about a dozen three-member teams made up of either employees of a sponsoring business or suspected good spellers recruited by the sponsors.

The team members can collaborate on how to spell a given word and even write it down on a piece of paper, although they can't use the written words once they step up to the mike to spell.

A little strategy is involved, too. For $25, for example, a team can pass on a difficult word and get another to spell. For $50, the team can simply pass the word onto the next team.

And there will be money spent on the "mulligans." Some sample words from the team practice guide: funipendulous (fyu nuh PEN dyu lus, meaning "hanging from a rope"), mnemonically (ni-MON-ik, defined as a device, such as a formula or rhyme, used as an aid in remembering), and churrigueresque (choor-i-ge-RESK, which relates to a style of baroque architecture of Spain and its Latin-American colonies.)

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