Some fund-raising events are more fun than others, and the 22nd Annual Literacy KC Spelling Bee on April 28 at Pierson Auditorium, on the UMKC campus, will be one of the “more fun” ones. Really!

Starting at 5, there’s a lively opening hour with complimentary soft drinks, beer and wine, and it features a selection of excellent wines from our local winery and event sponsor, Aubrey Vineyards. And we’ll again be serving our truly popular and inimitable signature (delicious!) cocktail, the “Bee Stinger,” which is complimentary, but comes with a suggested donation.

During the cocktail hour, the silent auction will have plenty of things you can probably score by bidding a couple of Jacksons, and there will be many more items that likely will require, well, a bit more to beat out your competition. The live auction of large donations during dinner always brings spirited bidding. Among this year’s offerings we have a week in a spacious two-bedroom villa at the Marriott Mountainside in Park City, Utah, where you and up to seven guests can enjoy access to world-class skiing, year-round events, and the unrivaled natural beauty of the locale. If you’re after something more exotic, make your bid for the South African Photo Safari and experience the amazing adventure of African safari at the Zulu Nyala Game Lodge. More information to come on these and other live auction prizes, including exclusive author book discussions, weekend getaways, and more!

This year is Literacy Kansas City’s 30th anniversary as a nonprofit organization, and there will be a video celebration, including a rollout presentation of some exciting new changes and events slated for 2016. This also is a significant anniversary year for one of our stalwart competitors:  Rotary Club 13 of Kansas City, Missouri, will be celebrating its 20th year of Bee competition.

Barbara Dolci, the chairman of Club 13’s Literacy Committee, says they have their own pre-party and competition to raise the money for the entry fee. It involves a “spell-off,” where club members compete for the honor of representing Club 13 at the Bee. Dolci says the Bee is one of three literacy projects their Literacy Committee sponsors, including providing reading materials for adults at Rose Brooks Center and supporting a program at Rockhurst University that provides tutoring to children at Spofford Home.

Price Horn, James Carlile, Deborah Roach, Suzie Kemper - UMB Winning Spelling Team

Literacy Kansas City’s 21st Annual Spelling Bee Winners – UMB – Price Horn, James Carlile, Deborah Roach, Suzie Kemper

Between the bidding and the spelling, competition is the name of the game at the Bee. But the Bee is also one more example of how corporations, associations, and organizations can work together to increase literacy in our communities. Go to the Spelling Bee event page and get involved! If you are part of a corporation, company, association, book club, dinner group, or just have a bunch of friends who are avid spellers and literacy champions and want to sponsor and compete, call us. If you’d like to sponsor a team but don’t have an itch to compete, we will find you a team you could be proud of. Most importantly, join us for an enjoyable evening and an exciting indoor sports event! It’s good fun on behalf of a very good cause.



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