LYNN — Fifty-five spellers will face off Friday night in the largest Daily Item Regional Spelling Bee to date.
The bee, which is co-sponsored by Flagship Travel, includes the addition of schools in Bristol, Norfolk, and Plymouth counties this year. In the past, students have qualified in Essex, and parts of Middlesex and Suffolk.
“It has been very rewarding to see it grow,” said Joel Abramson, who owns Flagship Travel with his wife Mary. “About five years ago Mary and I got involved and about 30 schools participated. We’ve almost doubled the participation.”
The event will kick off at 6 p.m. at the Lynn City Hall Memorial Auditorium, but for an hour and a half before that, the winners representing their schools will mingle, have dinner, and get advice from last year’s winner, Ashrita Gandhari of North Andover.
“It just amazes my wife and I how smart these young kids are,” said Abramson. “I think what we enjoy the most is the fact that the students have been committed to improving their reading and communication skills, including spelling. It’s not just spelling. They basically, after the first couple of rounds, have to understand the definition of the word, the derivation of the word, and the part of speech. It’s just incredibly rewarding to see the commitment they make not only to the event but to improve their skills.”
The winner of The Item’s regional bee will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
As part of the first place prize, roundtrip airfare, a week of hotel accommodations at The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, and spending money for the winner and a chaperone are provided.
The champion will take home airfare, accommodations, and spending money for a five-day trip to Washington D.C., a $100 gift card to Amazon, a one-year premium subscription to Britannica Online Premium, a Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online one-year subscription, a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition), Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement – the New “Nautical Words,” and The Samuel Louis Sugarman 2018 United States Mint Proof set.
Second place will take home a $75 Amazon gift card, and third place will snag $50. The fourth lace winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. All other participating spellers will take home $10 cards.
The prizes are sponsored by Flagship Travel.