10/17/08 — Chamber Spelling Bee

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Chamber Spelling Bee

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 17, 2008 1:46 PM


Aimee Kahler, also known as the Queen of Hearts, works with her team from North Drive Elementary.

For two-and-a-half hours, cash changed hands, checks were scribbled and frantic phone calls were made as the cost of words climbed from $25 to $475 each at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce's 2008 Corporate Spelling Bee. But finally, with only two teams remaining and organizers left combing through a 1970 edition of the "Webster New World Dictionary: School and Office Edition," the ladies of BEE Nice came out on top.

Hosted by The Pines of Goldsboro and sponsored by Dees, Smith, Powell, Jarrett, Dees & Jones, the team conquered all comers, ultimately besting the Mad Hatter's BEE Party on the word, "ptomaine."

Ptomaine, a noun, is "any body of various organic bases which are formed by the action of putrefactive bacteria on nitrogenous matter and some of which are poisonous," according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. That means, basically, that ptomaine poisoning is food poisoning caused by bacteria or bacterial products.

"We left off the 'p,'" said Aimee Kahler, a second-grade teacher at North Drive Elementary, which hosted the team, sponsored by Honda of Goldsboro and Hyundai of Goldsboro.

And they were $375 short of forcing yet another round, and so graciously, Kahler, the Queen of Hearts, and her team stood, watching as L.J. Stanley, aka The Killer Bee, destroyed their hive of balloons with a few quick pokes of his stick.

The trick to surviving the evening -- and spelling the majority of their words correctly -- said BEE Nice, was being a bunch of bookworms.

"Its a lot of reading," said team leader Georgia Dees as they clasped their trophies, some for the second time in three years after winning in 2006 and coming close last year.

But the teachers of North Drive weren't going home completely empty-handed. A large portion of the more than $16,700 raised is going to help fund the Chamber's mini-grant program for teachers.

Proceeds also are going to help develop recruitment and retention incentive packages for teachers, and for the Junior Leadership program, which is modeled after Leadership Wayne County.

That's why, the members of BEE Nice said, it was so easy to raise money -- "because it was for the schools."

And while the event fell short of last year's mark, when it raised more than $20,000, organizers were still pleased with what they got.

They just hope next year, they said, that more corporate teams will participate.

Other winners for the evening included the Mad Hatter's BEE Party, picking up honors for best table decorations; the Spelling Spinsters from Northeast Elementary School, sponsored by Academics Plus, picking up best costumes; and Crossroads Support of Edgewood Community Developmental School, picking up the Frank Tillman Spirit Award for the most spirited team.

Other teams included:

* BPS Spelling Bee Society, hosted by Brogden Primary School and sponsored by Cooper-Standard Automotive

* Charlie's Angel Beez, hosted by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and sponsored by Chevrolet Cadillac of Goldsboro

* Word Warriors, hosted by Eastern Wayne High School and sponsored by Mount Olive College

* Grease Lightening, hosted by Fremont STARS Elementary School and sponsored by Fremont Pharmacy, The Heritage Bank, Nationwide Insurance and McCracken Propane

* Queen BEES, hosted by Goldsboro Intermediate School and sponsored by Pediatric Play Therapy

* Dill or No Deal, hosted by Mount Olive Middle School and sponsored by Mount Olive Pickle

* HollyWord Squares, hosted by Tommy's Road Elementary School and sponsored by Pizza Inn of Goldsboro