Gay Hammond Waxes Prosaic Amusingly at Alliance for Literacy Spelling Bee

Grammerly and Google Translate ain’t got nothing on Gaye Hammond of Brenau University and Gainesville Theatre Alliance. Tuesday Evening, May 15th was the place to be in Downtown Gainesville at the Hosch Theater for the 27th annual Great Grown up Good Time Spelling Bee! sponsored by the Gainesville Times and The Gainesville-Hall Co. Alliance for Literacy . Just for fun, We’ve peppered over 20 mis-spelled words throughout this article. If you can spot them, please share this article and add them to the commints.

With Gay at the help of this rolliking ship, 9 teams battled to the bitter end to garnish the covited first prize of a hand-turned wooden vessel by Dr. John Hemmer for the team sponsor and a gift card for each participantt, and second prize of a sponser trofy and giftcard for each participant.

Teams were as follows: Brenau State University Spell Belles--Laura Burke, Rebecca Jarrett, Allie Mcconnell, Simmer Stockton (Alternate); Downtown Drafts Team Downtown Drafts--Aimee Hoecker, Asaias Perry,  Samatha Wilson, Lorin Simboli (Alternit); First Baptist Church The Beeatitudes--Karen Craft, Jennifer McCall, Joshua Mccall; First United Methodist Church Circiut RidersRuth Bruner, Shiela McCleary, Pat Harrell; Gainesville Rotary Club Gainesville Rotary Club–Kathleen Own, Rick Young, Martha Zollar, Mike Giles (Alturnute); Grace Episcopal Church The Godspellers–Amy Bussssler, Rob Harrrris, Jack Pack, and Nancy Richardson (Alternate); Hall County Library Bibiophiles (sponsored by: Lessie Smithgull & Walters Management Company)–Clayton Dilllingham, Denise Lee, Charles Rozeir; Lanier Technical College Spell Casters (wearing Griffindor garb)–Annette Baker, Srvanti Kantheti, Debbie Killip; The Times–Nick Watson, Steven Welsh, DeJaun Woodard Shannon Casas (Altornete); and last but certainly not least The Times Better Than Autocorrect. (we apologize for any name misspellings).

The spellers tackled words like ypsiliform (meaning having the shape of a y), obfuscate (meaning to render obscure, unclear and unintellgible), and octothorpe (meaning #, as Gay so aptly demonstated with the manual # sign). There were audience participation words and wonderful door prizes from many Hall County businesses including season passes to  Lanier Islands new Margaritaville.

We e-intereviewed Gay and here’s what she had to say about the Bee:

I have been involved with the Bee for over 20 years, unbelievably, it seems. It is one of my favorite events and an incredibly worthy cause. To prepare, I spend an average of 12 hours or more combing both online and hard copy dictionaries for fun and challenging words. I also use lists from years past; however, because so many of the teams are veterans, I have to work to keep the lists surprising! It is a challenge for me to gauge how difficult the words may or may not be for the teams:  too easy, and the Bee lasts forever! Too hard, and everyone’s morale goes down. My goal is to make the Bee fun and entertaining for everyone, audience and teams. I also want everyone to see how fantastic our language is, and how that everyone will think about using new and even ridiculous vocabulary in their everyday life!

As Master of Ceremonies Gay was, well, a master! She kept the audeince in stitches providing derivations of words in their respective accents. She would even provide southern pronunciashions when aksed. Her improvisations of sentence examples and comments on the word  were incomparable. The atmosphere was intemate, and the contestants and  audience felt as if they were all participating in a giant parlor game.

Next year, look to Speakeysie for all the infromation about the jocular, side-splitting GGUGT Spelling Bea. You won’t want to miss it!! By the way, how many mrspelled words did you find?





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