Tri-Champions crowned at Altrusa of Troy’s 27th Annual Bee for Literacy


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — Three champions were crowned at Altrusa of Troy’s 27th Annual Bee for Literacy on Thursday afternoon, including teams from Kettering Health Troy, the Miami County Educational Service Center (ESC), and the Troy Noon Optimist Club.

The competition went approximately 18 rounds before Alan Kappers, emcee of the event, called a three-way tie between the three teams.

“It’s always good to be a participant,” said Mike Brendel, a member of Kettering Health Troy’s team. The final word they had to spell correctly was “futurist.” Brendel added the members on their team, which also included Jennifer Sherman and Matthew Dagani, were also nurses, adding that they knew how to spell and how to take care of people.

“We are so excited to win again, and we’re happy for this,” said Myrna Yoder of the Miami County ESC team, which also included Bethany Whidden and Rosemary Frey. Their final word was “tenseness.”

“This has been a great occasion again because it’s all about literacy,” Yoder said.

“We’re just excited to support literacy,” Whidden said.

“We’re honored,” said Jack Carter, a member of the Troy Noon Optimist Club’s team, which also included Pat Morris and Edie Tremblay. Their final word was “concentrate.”

“We were impressed by the competition and grateful to everyone who came out to support the Spelling Bee,” Carter said.

This year also marked the return of Altrusa of Troy’s Annual Bee for Literary after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Linda Roth, co-chair of the 27th Annual Bee for Literacy, said it felt good to be back.

“We’re really happy to have it, and we’ll have money to do our grants, so that’s really great,” said Roth, who was co-chairing Thursday’s event with Glenna Rinehart.

All funds raised from Thursday’s Altrusa Spelling Bee for Literacy will be available as grants for groups or individuals who work to promote literacy and reading in the community. Altrusa of Troy is a service club that is committed to community service, literacy, and fellowship for the benefit of the community and its members. The purpose of Altrusa International, Inc. is to promote better communities through service by an international network of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Altrusa of Troy member Ann Baird also recalled the first Spelling Bee for Literacy the group had, which they held at the former Helen of Troy restaurant.

“It’s gotten huge,” Baird said, recalling how the previous sheriff, Charles Cox, would jokingly escort the participants off of the stage at past Spelling Bees after getting a word wrong.

At this year’s event held at the Troy Church of the Nazarene, there were nine teams with three participants on each team competing, including Edison State Community College, sponsored by Edison State Community College; Kettering Health Troy, also sponsored by Kettering Health Troy; the Lincoln Community Center, sponsored by the Hobart Brothers; Miami County ESC, sponsored by Park National Bank; the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, sponsored by Hayner Distilling; the Troy High School (THS) ASTRA Club, sponsored by Premier Health; the THS Interact Club, sponsored by the Troy Rotary Club; the Troy-Miami County Public Library, sponsored by the Troy Literacy Council, Inc.; and the Troy Noon Optimist Club, also sponsored by the Troy Noon Optimist Club.

While the THS clubs didn’t win the bee, it was a battle between the young adults for the event’s Spirit Award at the end of the bee, with the winner being chosen by Kappers for the audience member(s) with the most spirit and excitement during the event. The THS ASTRA Club ultimately won after one member did a free flip in the audience, but the THS Interact Club was a close second, bringing a trumpet with them to cheer people on, as well as also attempting a cart wheel.

The pronouncer at Thursday’s event was Michael Ham, who works for the city of Troy and is a Troy Board of Education member. Judges included Kathi Roetter, executive director of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce; Michael Beamish, retired Troy City mayor; and Joe Laber, lead Social Barista at A Cup of Joe Media. The timekeeper was Dr. Ryan Subler of Subler EyeCare.

Thursday’s event also included a silent auction, which was organized by Tami Baird Ganley and Mindy Phelps.

For more information about Altrusa of Troy or the Annual Bee for Literacy, find Altrusa of Troy Ohio on Facebook or email [email protected].

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