By Melody Vallieu
TROY — The Miami County Educational Service Center’s spelling skills were hot as cayenne pepper Thursday when it took home its third-consecutive win at the 23rd annual Altrusa Spelling Bee on Thursday.
The Miami County ESC team consisted of Myrna Yoder, Rosemary Frey and Bethany Whidden.
Following the incorrect spelling of “pterodactyl” by the the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center team, the ESC’s Bethany Whidden swooped in, spelling it correctly, followed by the correct spelling of “cayenne” by Myrna Yoder for the win. Frey also was a member of the team who spelled all of her words correctly to keep the team moving forward.
The team, sponsored by MJ Stanislaw and Family, said the event is a lot of fun each year.
“It’s never stressful because we are a team,” Yoder said. “We can chat before we spell. It’s always fun.”
Other teams participating included:
• Teen Leadership Troy, sponsored by Unity Bank — Victoria Holland, Matt Sanders and Chloe Johnston
• United Technologies Aerospace Systems, sponsored by themselves — Brad Coombe, Lena Bashara and Jenny Dyer
• Troy High School Interact Club, sponsored by the Troy Rotary Club — Mac Scordia, Will Brumfield and Chris Behm
• Troy-Miami County Public Library, sponsored by Concrete Sealants — Katie Wilson, Sandy Gurklies and Sue Hofer
• Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, sponsored by Premier’s UVMC and Denlinger & Son — Cam Armstrong, Leona Sargent and Rachael Boezi
• Lincoln Community Center, sponsored by Kerber Sheet Metal — Zion Taylor, Shane Carter and Andrew Luring
• Edison State Community College — Scott Burnam, Kara Myers and Terry Buchanan
For the second year, fans of the Troy Interact team also took home the spirit award for bringing the best morale to the bee.
Held at the Troy Church of the Nazarene, Troy Mayor Michael Beamish was the master of ceremonies for the event, while Dr. James Burkhardt, D.O., served to pronounce the words.
Judges included the Troy Daily News’ David Fong and Cheryl Stiefel-Francis, director of the Miami County Foundation. Cheryl Chaney of Conagra served as the timekeeper.
All profits for this event are donated to local literacy projects. In 2016, the Bee for Literacy — raising $5,200 — provided 21 grants to a variety of organizations and schools throughout Miami County for projects to enhance literacy. Some of the programs supported include funds for the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the Brukner Nature Center preschool program, various elementary schools throughout the county and the Miami County Park District, among others.
To date, more than $90,000 has been raised through the bee and distributed, according to Altrusa member Roberta Jacobs.
Reach Melody Vallieu at [email protected] or (937) 552-2131