Participants in the Bond County Senior Citizen spelling bee are congratulated for their efforts by Senator Kyle McCarter, who represents the 51st District. Competing in the spelling bee were Lucille Nowlin, Elaine Huffman, Barb Wiese, the first place winner; Gerald Jenner, second place winner; and Helen Tompkins. This was the first spelling bee held at the senior center in about 15 years.
Barb Wiese of Greenville correctly spelled “futon” and “balcony” to win the Bond County Senior Citizens Center spelling bee Tuesday afternoon. She advances to the regional round, at a date and place to be announced later. Those emerging from the regional will compete in the state bee at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield on Senior Day. A total of five persons competed for the Bond County title. Contestants were Elaine Huffman, Lucille Nowlin, Helen Tompkins, Gerald Jenner and Wiese. Jenner finished second. All of the spellers were presented certificates from Senator Kyle McCarter, and the top two finishers were given prizes. Approximately 55 words were spelled by the contestants. One miss knocked the participants out of the contest. At the end, Jenner and Wiese went 11 rounds before Wiese emerged as the champion. Serving as word pronouncer was Bill Hart. The judges were Judy Leidner, Jeannette Dothager and Juanita Burge, all members of the retired teachers association. The spelling bee competition is sponsored by the Association of Illinois Senior Centers. Anna Oestreich, executive director of the Bond County Senior Center, said senior centers throughout the state were invited to conduct their own spelling bees to send a representative to the regional level. Among the words that participants in the Bond County event had to spell were fiesta, ninja, fresco, quiver, fickle, totem, adobe, portfolio, tundra, karate, electoral, knapsack, apathy, nestle, embargo, rotunda and transect. For the record, a futon is a thin mattress of tufted cotton batting or similar material, placed on a floor or on a raised foldable frame. [Taken from Page 12 of the June 11, 2009 article published in the Greenville Advocate.]
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