Adult bee is spelling out
Lisa Cain and her teammates are hoping to break the spell of not being crowned Spellebration champions.This year will be the fifth appearance for Cain and teammates, Shelly Hemig and Janet Rickert, in Literacy Outreach’s 13th annual Spellebration fundraiser.”All three of us are pretty competitive,” said Cain, whose team placed second in the 2005 adult spelling bee. “We haven’t won yet, so we want to win.”Spellebration takes place at 6:30 p.m. today at the Hotel Colorado. In keeping with the event’s 1950s theme, “Shake, Rattle and Read,” Cain and her teammates have chosen to dress as Mouseketeers.”People will see a lot of adults try and spell words their kids can probably spell. It’s pretty funny,” Cain said. “And you’ll see grown adults dressed up in silly costumes.”Country radio station KMTS sponsors Cain and her team during the costume spelling bee party that has a reputation for extending late into the night. “We’re kind of mercenary spellers for them (KMTS),” Cain said. “Speaking for all three of us, Spellebration is just a great cause. It’s so worth it. It’s important that the populous can read because they’ll make better decisions and just get along better.”Spellebration’s goal is to raise $20,000 for Literacy Outreach, Garfield County’s only nonprofit grassroots organization that offers free, individualized literacy education. Literacy Outreach works with Colorado Mountain College’s Developmental Education program to help community members with reading skills below the fourth-grade level.For Ruben Vargas, an immigrant from Jiquilpan, Michoacan, in Mexico, weekly sessions with Literacy Outreach tutor Bill Crymble made a world of difference. He now owns RMS Concrete in Glenwood Springs with his family – and credits Literacy Outreach for his success.”I can speak better English now,” said Vargas, who met with Crymble for sessions every week for five years. “I didn’t know anything, but now I know how to read, write and express myself. It’s very important because English helped me to grow here.”Last fall, Vargas’ company was one of the sponsors of the Canyon Shuffle, another popular Literacy Outreach fundraising event. Vargas said the organization’s mission to provide basic reading, writing and math skills is a vital community need, especially for those learning English as a second language.”It’s never enough,” he said. “Because there are a lot of people out there that need help. It doesn’t matter how much money or power you have, you will lose it unless you have the education to make it grow. I support Literacy Outreach because education is the base of progress in every part of the world.”
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