The Free Dictionary defines a spelling bee as “a contest in which players are required to spell words according to orthographic conventions”, but the scene at Thursday’s MEF Spelling Bee for Scholarships was far from conventional. Mayor Loughmiller of team “Civic Duties” cracked jokes before the spelldown commenced, and when Emcee and Pronouncer Sara Thomas of Independent Bank was asked by participants to “use the word in a sentence”, she put her own comical spin on the examples often prompting outbursts of laughter from attendees. Some of the rules were even broken when the McKinney Fire Department ‘s Fightin’ Fire Blasters were eliminated in the first round and the audience cheered them back into the competition!
In between rounds, Raytheon’s Radical Reciters’ supporters did laps around their table in hopes of cheering their team to victory and winning the coveted Spirit Stick, but ultimately, it was the City of McKinney’s table that won the traveling trophy. When lamenting the loss, Raytheon’s Organizational Communications and Community Relations representative, Rhonda O’Bier remarked, “Just wait ‘til next year!”
After the Mulligans were spent and teams PT², McKinney Sunrise Rotary Interactors, A+ Orthographers and The Wired Wordsmiths were knocked out by words like “olestra” and “lycanthropy”, it was the Tate-er Tots: A Boy, His Wife and His Mother-in-Law Sponsored by Tate Financial Group (Bobby Mefford, Kate Mefford, Susie Machemehl) who emerged as the 2012 Bee Champions!
Judges for the Bee held on February 23rd hosted by the Eldorado Country Club were Jonathon Clayton of Nissan McKinney/McKinney Buick GMC, Linda Swanner, ELAR Coordinator with MISD and Tommy Stanley of BCD Travel. Mr. Clayton explained that “Nissan McKinney is a long-time supporter of MEF. This was a great event and we look forward to being a part of it again next year!”
“We are grateful to everyone who participated, ”said Margaret Harsch, MEF Operations Director. “Our emcee Sara Thomas, the spellers and their supporters really made this a fun event, and thanks to our event and table sponsors, registration fees, and raffles we raised just under $13,000!”
2012 spelling bee teams: A+ Orthographers Sponsored by Academics Plus (Bill Burke, Nate Morgan, Zach Ennen); Civic Duties Sponsored by City of McKinney (Mayor Brian Loughmiller, Mayor Pro Tem Travis Ussery, Jason Gray); McKinney Fire Department Fightin’ Fire Blasters Sponsored by Minnis Family Endowment (Chief Chris Lowery; Chief Kyle Easley; Chief Dwayne Henderson); McKinney ISD Sponsored by Heritage Eye Center (Logan Faris, Paige Hanks, Deborah Sanchez); McKinney Sunrise Rotary Interactors Sponsored by McKinney Sunrise Rotary (Megan Schmaltz, Meghan Reidy, Abigail Gibney); PT² Sponsored by Parker Mathematics Consulting (Phil Parker, Tom Pearce, Tommy Brumett *2011 Champs!); Raytheon’s Radical Reciters Sponsored by Raytheon (Donna Maestas, Bob Paquette, Karen Zupanic *2011 Spirit Award Winners); Tate-er Tots: A Boy, His Wife and His Mother-in-Law Sponsored by Tate Financial (Bobby Mefford, Kate Mefford, Susie Machemehl) and The Wired Wordsmiths Sponsored by Encore Wire (Karolina Malek, Steve Griffin, Troy Skidmore).
Event Sponsors: Nissan of McKinney as the Elimination Gong Sponsor, Whole Foods Market at the Village at Fairview as the Audience Spell Sponsor and Diggin’ It as the centerpiece sponsor. Additional sponsors include: FC Dallas, Horizons Management, MEDC, Neil Sperry’s Garden Magazine and Calloways Nursery.
Next up for MEF: The MEF 20th Anniversary Gala featuring President George W. Bush as the keynote speaker. Visit www.mmeeff.com for details!
About US – The 1st 20 Years: The McKinney Education Foundation is a non-profit foundation created to centralize, simplify and enhance the process of raising money for and awarding scholarships to deserving MISD graduates. MEF also has Advisors who specialize in higher education admissions at all of the McKinney high schools to help students apply for and find additional funding for college. In addition, MEF offers Classroom and Professional Development grants for MISD staff members. Please visit www.mmeeff.com for details about our 20th anniversary gala on Saturday, April 1, 2012.
Photo Caption: Kate Mefford, Bobby Mefford and Susie Machemehl of the winning Tate-er Tots.