Published in the March 5, 2019 edition.
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Educational Foundation (WEF) held it’s 3rd Annual Adult Spelling Bee on Friday and brought in a lively crowd of 21 teams who showed their Bee spirit by creating clever Team names and dressing the part. Teams included “Spelling Gives Me Hives,” “Ottocorrect,” “Beauty and the Bees,” “Don’t stop BEElieving,” and “Highway to Spell.” There was one “out of town” Team, the “Melrose Hive Fives” which included State Representative, Paul Brodeur and was headed by Team Captain, Joy Fay of Joy Yoga. The “Melrose Hive Fives” poked fun at the Melrose-Wakefield rivalry by wearing their Melrose garb. They were proud of their first place finish amongst the non-Wakefield teams!
Andrew Tetrault, Galvin Middle School Vice Principal was the emcee and played a key role in facilitating the event and energizing the crowd. The game consisted of 10 rounds of nine spelling questions each and one trivia question. Mr. T. added his own style and humor to the script he presented and he kept the crowd entertained and engaged. Each of the 10 rounds had spelling questions that surrounded a particular theme. The names of some of the rounds included, “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?” “America the Beautiful,” “City of Champions,” and “Happy 50th Birthday to the year 1969.” The spelling words ranged from traditional difficult to spell words, to obscure words and trivia. The participants were challenged to spell names such as Dont’a Hightower, Xander Bogaerts, Gianni Versace, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. They spelled names of places such as Schenectady, N.Y., Kissimmee, Fla, and Chappaquiddick. And they had difficult to spell words such as pizazz, syzygy, ad nauseam, nonchalant, and convalesce. Mr. T. masterfully pronounced challenging words and struck just the right balance of keeping the spirit both competitive and fun.
Jen Theriault, Vice President of WEF and Cary Mazzone, WEF volunteer co-chaired the event. They worked with a Bee Committee of many dedicated WEF volunteers who planned every detail of the event and worked together to host a successful Bee on Friday night. It was a huge success and they were overwhelmed by the support from the community. According to Theriault, “It is a win-win. We brought people together for a fun night out and, at the same time, we raised funds for WEF which benefits our schools and our kids. We are so pleased with the turnout and thank the community for supporting the Spelling Bee for the third year in a row.”
Mike Hartin was the DJ and worked with Mr. Tetrault to keep the crowd entertained and provided music between rounds. His music was the focal point of one round entitled “Boston You’re Our Home.” During this round the Teams listened to music by bands who got their start in Boston. Teams heard part of the song and had to come up with the title or artist plus spell all answers correctly. The participants were entertained by music by such artists as Aerosmith, Donna Summer, the Cars, Billy Squier and Letters to Cleo.
In the end, “Let it Bee” won, defending their 2018 title and awarding them bragging rights, a bobble head bee trophy and a jar of BeeBee Library honey for each team member. A Greenwood School Team named “UBee40” which included Principal, Tiffany Back, School Nurse, Mary Doherty, and teachers, Andrea Braham and Kristen Harper came in a close second. Though they placed second in the Bee, “UBee40”came in first place for creative themed costume. Each team member dressed as a different variety of red wine, fitting the band UB40’s hit “Red, Red Wine.”
According to Elizabeth Russell, President of WEF, the evening was a huge success. “We have been able to increase the number and dollar amount of enrichment and innovative grants for the WPS as a direct result of the community’s support of the Bee and our other fundraisers throughout the year. We want to thank the community for supporting WEF and our initiatives throughout the year.”
The Wakefield Educational Foundation funds enrichment programs in every school in the district. Without WEF funding these programs wouldn’t be possible. This school year WEF funded $30,000 in grants to support programs including Theater Arts productions, STEAM Night 2019, Learning About Differences and Disabilities: “Helen Keller, Champion of the Disabled,” Rock Tumblers, Dynamic Speaker promoting “Natural Highs,” NAO: A Programmable Humanoid Robot, Hatching Chicks through Incubation, New England Aquarium and Science Museum’s Traveling Programs, Garden Projects, Mindfulness in the classroom, and Resources and Tools for Social-Emotional Development. For more information about WEF please visit the website at www.WEF01880.org.