Youth Literacy Council hosts annual Spell-fest FUNdraiser

The Youth Literacy Council will raise funds for its tutoring and drama programs through its annual rock ’em sock ’em spell-fest on Thursday, February 21st, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Garafraxa Cafe, 131 Garafraxa St S in Durham (226-432-2175 for reservations)  (snow date Thursday, Feb 28th, same time and location).
Entry is $25 per person.  Entry forms are available online or by calling 519.364.0008.
In years past we’ve had as many as 14 teams duking it out – last year, 13 was the lucky number.  Here’s a recap to get you in the mood for signing up:
The Blue Water Radio-ators picked up the best spirit award, after a – what else? – spirited fight between them and the Bourbon Bees from the Garafraxa Cafe.  The SupercalifragilisticexBEEalidicious team, sponsored by Chris Ringenberg (Sun Life Financial) got most room for improvement – not bad for two newbie teams…
The Unstable Unicorns boasted an international entrant (a participant from Belgium!) and the West Grey Wise Owls, anchored by one of our volunteer tutors Allan, flew a participant in from Oakville for the event.
Re/MAX/The  team, which included former Youth Literacy Board member Ed and which was sponsored by Hatten Home Hardware Building Centre came in 3rd, moving closest to the top spot that they’ve been in the five years they’ve been participating!
The Co-operators entered two teams, the Spell-checkers and the Spellebrities, and were exceedingly good-natured, despite being part of the standing room-only group.
The Rotor Bees, hailing from the Walkerton Rotary Club, acquitted themselves with honour, as did the Natal-bees, led by Natalie, one of our volunteer directors. The Meridian Ortographobics, sponsored by Meridian Credit Union, finally went out with style on the word “panegyric”, spelling it “doodlesack” (an earlier word, meaning bagpipes).
The final battle was between the So-fish-ticated Ladies (complete with Dr. Seuss’s 1 fish, 2 fish, red fish and blue fish costumes and headed by another former Board member Mandy), sponsored by Germania Mutual Insurance, and the BuzzBees, who came away with Best Costume and who were sponsored by former Youth Literacy director Elizabeth.
It was a clash of the titans, with both teams using their Rebuzz coupons to stay in the conflict, but in the end the BuzzBees prevailed – they are definitely the Queen Bees, and all other teams will have their smokers trained on them this year! 
This is a wonderful evening out for those in service and social clubs, media, government and local organizations — or a group of friends, members of a book club, Scrabble fans… anyone who uses words and enjoys them.  It’s a great chance to earn bragging rights and raise funds for Youth Literacy and its programs that help kids struggling with reading, writing and math skills.  No stellar spellers required– it’s a team effort, and all teams need quarterbacks, too!
Those who shy away from competition can still support Youth Literacy at the Bee with sponsorships, from Busy Bee level to the fabulous Bees’ Knees level – which gives the sponsored team various competitive advantages.  Stress Bee-lief coupons, available by sponsorship or sale, include Re-buzzes, where teams buy their way back in after potential elimination; Buzz-offs, to discard a word that’s too hard; or Stingers, that allow teams to send a stinky word to an opposing team.
Those who join the fun at at the Garafraxa on February 21st can also vote for best team name or costume – at a toonie a vote, ballot box stuffing is not only allowed, it’s encouraged!  Supporters can also help teams buy their way back in after elimination.
Youth Literacy (South Grey Bruce Youth Literacy Council) has been operating since 1989, helping children and youth 6-18 to improve their reading, writing and math skills, and celebrating the benefits of literacy through competition, productions and similar activities.  Currently, one-on-one practice with a volunteer tutor is available, as are weekly drama workshops and a resource centre for long-term loans of books, puzzles, games, manipulatives and learning kits.
Every dollar counts towards helping kids and youth, with a focus on fun. For more information: www.sgbyouthliteracy.org, or Youth Literacy’s Facebook page, or contact Youth Literacy at 519.364.0008 Kimm Culkin, Co-ordinator, SGB Youth Literacy Council (info@sgbyouthliteracy.org )