Stuart Handloff explains the rules for the Community Spelling Bee on Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Stuart Handloff explains the rules for the Community Spelling Bee on Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Go Alpine team wins Community Spelling Bee in Steamboat

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Steamboat Springs City Council member Kenny Reisman, his 9-year-old daughter Macy and former council member Meg Bentley compete in the Community Spelling Bee on Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

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Ladies Recreation Club members, from left, Patricia Pillow, Diane Anderson and Katherine Gourley compete in the Community Spelling Bee on Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

3rd annual Community Spelling Bee results

1. Go Alpine Go-Getters

2. LIFT-UP

3. The Dem Dames

— There was no struggle with “demurrage,” the word that set last year's Community Spelling Bee champions apart from the second-place finishers.

This time around, the word easily was spelled correctly by all teams in one of the preliminary rounds.

An hour later, it was “verisimilar” that catapulted the three-year spelling bee veterans from Go Alpine to their first victory.

Team LIFT-UP spelled it with a “u” in place of one of the “i's," ending a long standoff between the two teams.

The Go Alpine Go-Getters erupted from their seats in cheers as the tension was broken by their win.

“I don’t know what was different this year,” Go Alpine team member Jax Larsen said. “We read a lot, I think reading a lot is crucial.”

One of the winners, Carl Lopatin, said he not only enjoyed the winning part but the educational aspect, as well.

“You get to rub some brain cells together,” he said.

There were 13 three-person teams in the third annual Community Spelling Bee on Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Four made it to the finals where words like “propitiatory,” “sycophant” and “proscenium” kept the two last teams in a tense head-to-head battle.

The friendly competition was further dramatized by the fact that one of LIFT-UP’s team members works at Go Alpine.

But it wasn’t just about a spelling victory for some of the teams.

The DerBeeeeeees, a team of English and math teachers, were dressed up like they were on their way to the Kentucky Derby, complete with custom-made hats and virgin mint juleps in their hands.

“We just have fun coming up with the costumes,” team member Nicole Moore said.

“We all think we can spell,” joked teammate Stacey Libby, who drove from Grand Junction on Saturday to participate in the Bee with her fellow teachers.

For the third DerBeeeeeees member, Tanna Brock, it’s all about the cause.

The Bee serves as a fundraiser for the Routt County Council on Aging, offering just enough of a boost to the senior program’s budget to allow for some fun programs like this year’s Valentine’s Day dance, Executive Director Laura Schmidt said.

“It’s nice to have some extra money to have that fun with,” she said.

Schmidt said the event not only raises funds but also gets community members of all generations together. The youngest speller was 7 years old, and the oldest was 87.

“It’s just good, old-fashioned family fun,” Schmidt said.

Brock said she gets involved with almost anything that goes on at the community center. She plays bridge there and serves meals to seniors. So it was the cause, not the tantalizing prizes of Chamber Bucks and honey, that brought her back to the Bee.

“I believe in the community center,” Brock said. “It’s my second home.”

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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