Annual Spell-E-Bration fundraiser June 2
May 25, 2023
The Shelton-based nonprofit Sound Learning hosts the 27th annual Spell-E-Bration fundraiser June 2 in the Shelton Civic Center. The silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., and the spelling competition begins at 6 p.m.
Teams of three spellers, some in colorful outfits, will showcase their skills during the spelling bee. Each team is sponsored by a business or group. The event features a silent and live auction, a band, loads of desserts and other food, banter between the teams and the judges - sometimes "bribes" are offered in full view of the audience - and most importantly, money is raised to help adults become more literate.
"It's a fundraiser, but it's also a party," said Shannon Klasell, the executive director of Sound Learning. Admission is free, and people of all ages are welcome to come and enjoy the event, she said.
"The more people there are, the more fun it is," she said.
Spell-E-Bration is the biggest fundraiser for the group, which was founded 32 years ago. Staff members and volunteers help educate adults in reading, math, computer literacy, HS21-Plus and GED preparation, and English for speakers of other languages.
At the event in June, all eight teams survived the first four rounds. But the words became much more complicated in the fifth round, and six teams were eliminated.
That left a contest between the West Olympia Rotarian team of Roger Jones, Herman Lincoln and Bron Lindgren, and The Voskuhl Family Team of Clair Voskuhl and her children Justin and Sara.
Parsec, a unit of distance used in astronomy, equal to 3.26 light years, was the winning word for the West Olympia Rotary Rotarians.
The champs are returning, and the 11 teams also include the Mason County Sheriff's Office and three members of the Forest Festival Court, Klasdell said.
New this year is a table of small sale items, and a table of books for 50 cents and $1 each. The auction items include art, drill and tool sets, gift certificates, a round of golf at Salish Cliffs, and many gift baskets.
Sound Learning's staff provides public education on literacy-related and diversity issues, through community presentations, displays and monthly electronic newsletter. The group collaborates with St. David's Episcopal Church to offer Spanish language class. They also work with the Shelton School District, Timberland Regional Library, South Puget Sound Community College, Olympic College Shelton, Mason County Network, WorkSource, the Division of Social and Health Services, the YMCA and other groups.