Loudoun Literacy, Loudoun Now Launch Buzzed at the Bee

Who said spelling bees are just for tweens?

Dust off those dictionaries, people. The Loudoun Literacy Council and Loudoun Now are teaming up to host the first-ever Buzzed at the Bee at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at Leesburg Brewing Company, 2C Loudoun St. SW in Leesburg. The adult spelling bee is meant to be fun and goofy—all with the goal of raising money for nonprofit organization Loudoun Literacy.

Years ago, Loudoun Literacy put on adult spelling bees with business partners. They encouraged companies to form teams to compete against one another. Margaret Brown, a new board member of the nonprofit, said she loved the idea but wanted to expand it to the general public and liven it up a bit.

“I felt like, wait a minute, I’m a nerdy speller. I want to do that, too,” she said. “There are people out there like me who won the spelling bee in elementary school who want the mic again.”

Anyone 21 years or older is invited to step up to the podium and join the fun. Participants are asked to donate $20 to Loudoun Literacy (that donation includes a drink—beer, wine, or anything from the coffee bar). If spellers need a bit of help, they can donate a few bucks to bribe a judge or “phone a friend.”

People are also encouraged to come, watch and cheer on their favorite speller, and also be poised to help if they’re called upon by a friend.

Loudoun Now reporter and the voice of the newspaper’s Morning Minute podcast Renss Greene will emcee the event.

“This is a fun—definitely not stressful—spelling bee,” Brown said. “And what’s great is it helps people in our community who are trying to improve their English skills and better their lives.”

Money raised will benefit Loudoun Literacy. The organization formed in 1980 to provide area residents the resources to learn English. The organization provides free and low-cost courses, as well as one-on-one tutoring, to individuals and families.

Winners of the Sept. 7 bee will get a chance to compete at Loudoun Literacy’s larger signature fundraiser, Not Your Kid’s Spelling Bee, on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Leesburg’s Ida Lee Recreation Center.

The event is also meant to celebrate some new faces at Loudoun Literacy. The charity has several new board members and a new executive director, Sarah Ali, who previously served as its adult literacy director.

For more information about the bee, contact Ali at sali@loudounliteracy.org. Learn more about Loudoun Literacy Council at loudounliteracy.org.


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