By Wicker Van Orsdel
Do you know what is more amazing than a talking dog? A spelling bee! The Orchard Place Spelling Bee, to bee exact! On May 5, hopeful teams of orthographers and their supporters gathered at People’s Court for the eighth (I can’t believe it’s been that long) annual Orchard Place Spelling Bee. This is not your Putnam County Spelling Bee…no, my friend, this is a wacky, spirited event that encourages hi-jinx, creative costumes, and corny-clever Bee-team names. Teams of three work together to determine the correct spelling of the word. (Spelling by committee does not always work; someone is always second guessing the one person who knows how to spell.) However, elimination from the competition is highly unlikely as long has someone on your team has a fat wallet handy. This is one place where bribing the panel of judges is highly encouraged! (This is called “wallet whipping” your opponents.)
The crowd was enthusiastic and very supportive of their chosen teams. Great prizes were awarded all night long. Here are the evening’s team awards outcomes and the prizes they received:
*The winner for most creative team name was Team BEEber Fever. (I think I’m too old catch the fever.) They won a $100 bar tab to Johnny’s Hall of Fame.
*Most creative costume went to Beauty and the BEEst. Much deserved, especially the lady who had to be the table all night. They truly went over the top; check out the photos below. Their prize was a tour of Des Moines, including hotel stays and restaurant gift cards for each team member.
*Team BFF’s from Nationwide cleaned up on the remaining awards, taking the triple whammy for best cheering section, most money raised and the much-coveted award of spelling bee champions. Their cache of prizes included a WineStyles of West Glen wine-tasting party for 20. (Now we’re talkin’!), a Chick-fil-A lunch for 20 (don’t forget your cheering section BFF’s), plus an Iowa Cubs skybox for 10 and one certificate to shoot bazooka bat. (No clue about bazooka bat.)
The Spelling Bee was once again a huge success, raising more than $50,000 to benefit the children of Orchard Place. It was a great way to test your spelling skills and support a very deserving charity that does great work. So…. bee there next year and bee seen! And…bee cool! It really puts the F-U-N back in f-u-ndraising!