New spelling champs!

2009 ADULT SPELLING BEE CHAMPS, representing Northside Elementary School, l-r: Susan Charles, Shannon McClelland, Andrea Gandy and Northside school-level winner Marcellina Lopez.

A team of teachers from Northside Elementary School with the help of Northside school-level spelling bee winner, fifth grader Marcellina Lopez, took the top prize from a determined group of thirteen teams on Tuesday night at the historic Zebulon theater.
The other winner of the evening was the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy/Grady County. They scored a record $4,225 in donations in the third annual event.
Aside from the excitement that goes with crowning a new winning team, Adult Spelling Bee Coordinator Martha Fowler received a very unexpected surprise at the beginning of the contest. The Shiver Builder’s Club presented Fowler a check for $800.
“It was a fun and challenging night for all the participants,” said Fowler.  “Over $4,000 was raised to purchase books for Grady County young children.  Thank you to all that took the challenge and tested your  spelling abilities and were a part of this fundraising effort.”
This year, school-level winners in the Grady County Schools Spelling Bee were invited to participate. Cairo’s most famous student speller, Austin Brinkley, a District, Big Bend, and National Spelling Bee participant for the past two years gave an added dimension to the team from Cairo High School. Other student spellers participating in this year’s contest were Morgan Blough, Nic Ward, Gabriella Sanchez, Johnathan Williamson, Madison Manning, and Drew Collins, and Marcellina Lopez.
And why does Fowler spend so much of her time drumming up support for the Ferst Foundation? “It’s a passion of mine to make sure children have books in their homes. That’s why I do it,” said Fowler, as she gathered posters, light and sound equipment while the crowd was exiting the building.
Fowler wished to thank all those who supported the third annual adult spelling bee through sponsorships and participation in this year’s contest, making it the most successful to date.
The 2009 sponsors include Pollock Insurance, Knight Forestry, Mid South Timber, Ameris Bank, the Cairo Rotary Club, Cairo Kiwanis Club, United National Bank, Southwest GA Technical College, Cairo/Grady Co. Employer Committee, Capital City Bank, Cairo Eye Care, Cox Pharmacy, Grady Golden K Kiwanis Club, Richter and Company, the Cairo High School Library Club, Legacy Twirling Academy, Ira Higdon Grocery Company, Park Ave. Bank, Porter Insurance,
John and Kathaleena Monds.
For additional information about the Ferst Foundation/Grady County contact Martha M. Fowler at 229-377-3701.

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