Tough words and tough competition made for a successful year in the sixth annual Grate Groan-up Spelling Bee, hosted by Literacy for Life on September 29.

Ten teams composed of three participants gathered at the Wales Theatre in High River to compete, testing their capability to spell some of the more puzzling words in the English language.

Executive Director for Literacy for Life Sue Stegmeier says win or lose, the contestant had a lot of fun and raised some money for a good cause.

"It seemed like everyone had a good time and enjoyed themselves, and we don't have a definite amount, but with everything we've done and with today's event we are looking at around 27 thousand dollars raised under the umbrella of the Grate Groan-up Spelling Bee."

This years team line-up featured the Big Rockies from the Okotoks Town Council, The Our High River Wisenheimers, The Optimators from the Optimum Wellness Centre in High River, The Save On Squad from Save on Foods in Okotoks, The SNAPS Smpell Checkers from Foothills SNAPS, Team Eagle from the Eagle 100.9 out of Okotoks, Town Cownsell from the High River Town Council, The Wanna Bees from Sun Country 99.7 out of High River, The Western Wonders from Western Financial and the Windmill Thespian acting group from the Windmill Theatre Players.

This years winning team was the Save on Squad, who are newcomers to the event.

Think you have what it takes to compete in the spelling bee?

Here are some of the words the ten teams had to wrestle with this year:

  • Zeaxanthin: one of the two primary xanthophyll carotenoids contained within the retina of the eye.
  • Prestidigitation: magic tricks performed as entertainment.
  • Syzygy: a conjunction or opposition, especially of the moon with the sun.
  • Prognostication: the action of foretelling or prophesying future events.
  • Perihelion: the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid or comet that is nearest to the sun. It is the opposite of aphelion, which is the point farthest from the sun.
  • Heterogeneous: diverse in character or content.
  • Boustrophedon: (of written words) from right to left and from left to right in alternate lines.
  • Acetabulum: the socket of the hipbone, into which the head of the femur fits.

The event was emceed by Foothills MP John Barlow and prizes were awarded to the best spellers, those who raised the most pledges and the crew with the best costumes.

Team member from the winning Save on Squad, Jordan Mitchell says spelling tough words is one of his specialties.

"It went very well, clearly since we're coming home with the trophy. English was my strong suit, which is why I didn't go into engineering."


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