Posted by Diana Wood on Apr 24, 2019
Oh what a night! Our first annual Burlington Sunrise Rotary Executive Spelling Bee...
It was a fun evening of socializing, good food, and great spellers! The club organized our first annual event featuring 18 spellers from local businesses such as Hanson & Doremus, Burlington Free Press, WCAX. We also invited three students from Burlington High School (yes they were ringers for sure!) 
Everyone ended up a winner because we all showed up to support Burlington Sunrise Rotary providing nearly 20,000 free books to Burlington children in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. 
Pictures from the event are available here.
Thank you to all the attended, but special thanks go out to our hardworking Burlington Sunrise Rotarians:
  • Phillip for bringing this idea of a spelling bee fundraiser to the table, for lining up UVM, Birnn Chocolates and for otherwise planning this event, from beginning to end!
  • Laura for getting the Free Press & WCAX on board, and for going the extra mile to make time for meetings, welcoming everyone last night, bringing your label printing equipment (who has that?!), and for generally being you, Laura Bowe!
  • Steve for being the BEST spokesperson (seriously, the best), setting a very good tone for the evening, and for encouraging us during the planning phase. Thank you for lining up Charlie, who I like to think of as a friend of Rotary.
  • Diana for branding the event, setting up our registration page, Facebook event page, lending her promotional skills, printing the name tags and generally being VERY detail oriented. The details are key! Thank you, also, for lining up those amazing BHS students, one of whom walked away with bragging rights.
  • Bobby for meeting with Joe and Joe for meeting with Bobby ... several times (more than most people realize) to come up with such a thoughtful list of words. Your preparation was crucial to having such a successful evening. You two are quite the duo. Next year, your matching blazers will be mandatory dress-code. Also, Bobby, thanks for that vodka!
  • Eric for your support from afar (Casablanca!) and for bringing Hanson & Doremus in as the presenting sponsor. Your team wowed the audience. Kudos to Liz, in particular, for taking home the coveted Dolly Parton LP ... high honors for the evening!
  • Jesse for hosting our initial meeting to come up with word list, for hand-making note pads for participants, for your help in making last night work so well, and your general can-do attitude.
  • Guy for keeping our Burlington Sunrise Rotary version of a spelling bee legitimate enough so we can actually call it a spelling bee. Again, details are key, and I am grateful you were on top of the spelling bee details ... in particular, coming up with and explaining the rules to all. That is perhaps a more critical than people realize.
  • Todd for making some amazing photographs and doing so for ALL of our events. You are a very talented artist, my friend, and you can be counted on. That reliability is such a great quality ... and very much appreciated.
  • Julie for REALLY coming through last minute. The spelling bee would not have been a bee without spellers (funny how that works). Thank you for introducing us to Cecile and Sybil; they were such great additions. Also, thanks for rearranging your schedule to attend last night.
  • Chris for bringing in those beautiful flowers. In the words of the Dude, it really tied the room together. Without the critical detail of decor, the event would not have been nearly as unique. Thank you so much, Chris (and to Paul for helping to unload).
  • To Brendan and Ken for registering. We needed as many people there as possible; each person made a big difference in filling out the room. My biggest fear was an empty room. Thanks, Brendan, for bringing Kristen. For next year, we've decided that you'll be a husband-and-wife speller team ... a little sub-plot (intrigue) for the audience!
  • Ryan for writing me a blank check! Is there anything better than having a blank check in your wallet?! It only lasted the few minutes it took me to drive it up to UVM, but still.... We missed you last night, my friend, but knew you would have been there if you could.
  • Last but not least, Alison for being our biggest proponent of the Imagination Library, our club's biggest commitment. We've sent almost 20,000 books to Burlington children. We ALL should be proud of that. You stepping up to the plate - as you always do - was another example of how your passion carried the day. Thanks for co-chairing this with me, for your countless (COUNTLESS!) contributions ... and how about that cut-out Dolly ... a real show-stopper!