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Norwalk Education Foundation hosts 2nd Annual Community Spelling Bee

NORWALK, Conn. — Twenty-six teams will be on hand to compete for the title of Norwalk’s Top Spellers in the Norwalk Education Foundation’s second Community Spelling Bee scheduled for March 26.

“This is a lively fundraiser meant for families to enjoy,” said NEF Executive Director Gloria Tenofsky. “The participants dress up in team costumes and are cheered on by their fans. The money is raised primarily through our sponsors and the entry fee for teams.”

The event at City Hall starts at 6:30 p.m.

This year, NEF has added “spell checks” and “2nd chances” for each team to purchase to extend their stay in the competition. According to the NEF, those extras will work like insurance for the teams, but must be purchased prior to the event.

The first round is composed of teams of middle and high school students. The middle school teams all have a mixture of students and adults. Ponus, Roton and Nathan Hale each have teams with students. West Rocks has a competitive teacher team that made it to the finals last year.

The next four rounds have teams comprising civic leaders, community members and business leaders, including the Common Council team of Michelle Maggio, Dave McCarthy and Doug Hempstead.

Last year’s winning team – Friends with Words, made up of sisters and long-time Norwalk residents Lisa Henderson, Grace Pisano and Gina Pisano – is back to defend its title.

The Team Spirit award is given to the team with the best cheering section. With a $5 per family ticket price, the event is meant to be affordable for all.

“We want to fill the concert hall with fans supporting their favorite team. We did not want the admission fee to be a deterrent,” said Tenofsky.

Returning this year is Master of Ceremonies Harry Carey, director of external affairs for AT&T. John Dunsmore, owner of several local Robeks, will join his as the “pronouncer.” Schools Superintendent Manny Rivera will be at the event at the beginning to share some remarks.

NancyonNorwalk.com is the media sponsor.

The NEF Spelling Bee is a fundraiser to support the work of the Norwalk Education Foundation. NEF is the strategic partner to Norwalk Public Schools and generates resources for teacher effectiveness, classroom innovation, community outreach and student programs.

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