Spellebration provides a night of fun and fundraising for Literacy Outreach, CMC Learning Labs

In this file photo from a past Spellebration event, Randy Colman, left, and Brent Gardner-Smith study up on the word list.
File photo

Celebrating its 26th year, the annual spelling bee and silent auction known as Spellebration will raise funds for local nonprofit Literacy Outreach as well as Colorado Mountain College Learning Labs next week.

Taking place at 6 p.m. April 5 at the La Quinta Glenwood Springs, 124 W. Sixth St., Spellebration is expected to showcase 30 teams of three competing for bragging rights as Garfield County’s best spellers.

Teams raise money for Literacy Outreach and Colorado Mountain College Learning Labs by purchasing $25 word passes, which allows participants to skip a tough word or receive assistance from the event’s designated spelling helper.

“What most teams do is ask their friends and their families to contribute $25,” Bruce Leland, event organizer and a New Castle town councilor, said of how most teams purchase passes ahead of the event. “That is a big part of the fundraising.”

Teams may purchase $25 dollar passes at the actual event too, Leland said.

In addition to the spelling bee, Spellebration also raises money for Literacy Outreach and Colorado Mountain College Learning Labs through a silent auction.

Leland said this year’s silent auction includes everything from a nice bottle of wine to a stay in a luxurious London apartment (airfare not included).

“Bidding is open to anyone and it is free for spectators, too, to come in and watch the spelling bee,” Literacy Outreach Executive Director Martha Fredendall said of Spellebration’s silent auction and spelling competition. “We have a lot of great auction donations because the community is so generous with this event.”

Serving all of Garfield County, Literacy Outreach since 1985 has helped functionally illiterate adults learn to read and write with the help of the nonprofit’s small staff and countless, community volunteers.

“The Colorado Mountain College Learning Labs do a lot of work with people trying to get their GED [General Educational Development],” Leland said of one of the many academic services CMC’s.

This year’s Spellebration has a musical theme, too, “Broadway to Literacy.”

Event organizers encourage teams to come ready to spell and dressed as their favorite musical character. Teams pay $200 to enter.

Teams must sign up to participate by this Friday, Fredendall said, and may do so by contacting Literacy Outreach at (970) 945-5282.

“I am looking forward to everyone having a good time,” Fredendall said of the event.

“There are lots of laughs and it has wonderful entertainment value,” added Leland.

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