In a word, winner is: Library

February 24, 2003|by TARA REILLY

A team of Citicorp employees summed up their showing in the A-B-C Adult Team Spelling Challenge Saturday with the word that knocked them out of the contest: "disastrous."

"And we're not afraid to admit it," said Citicorp team member Malinda Shipway.

The sixth annual spelling challenge was sponsored by The Herald-Mail Co. and The Hagerstown-Washington County Cham-ber of Commerce to benefit The Herald-Mail's Newspaper in Edu-cation Program.

Thirty teams entered the contest, raising about $3,200 for the program, NIE Director Michele Wills said.

The Citicorp team, which also consisted of Karen Musser, Christina Sandeen and Marion Pelletier, were eliminated from the competition after spelling three words wrong.


They joked as they mentioned one of the words they spelled incorrectly.

"We misspelled 'misspelled,' " Sandeen said.

The team also incorrectly spelled "commitment."

Incorrect spellings were noted by three balloons that were placed on the teams' tables. Teams are knocked out after all three balloons have been popped.

The Citicorp team wasn't the only group to be eliminated in the first round.

A team representing Eastern Elementary School went out after having trouble spelling "binary," "misspell" and "disastrous," while the Harpers Ferry Job Corps was also eliminated.

Among the more difficult words for many of the teams were "sergeant," "irresistible," and "octogenarian."

The winning team, representing the Washington County Free Library, was crowned in round seven.

The Herald-Mail and Washington County Board of Education teams were each eliminated in that round after stumbling over the word "languorously."

The library team members spelled the word wrong also, but they still had one balloon remaining on their table, giving them the win.

Master of Ceremonies Phil Kelly gave the second-place honor to The Herald-Mail, stating the newspaper's team spelled the word correctly, but the School Board didn't submit its spelled word before the 30-second bell sounded.

The Herald-Mail won the competition last year.

The library team has won all three times it has competed. Team member Maria Smucker joked that the team wouldn't be in it next year "because everybody hates our guts."

Smucker was joined by teammates Marion Mills, Lydia Byrne and Julia Copley.

Julia Copley, daughter of Herald-Mail team member Chris Copley, joked that her father had been giving her "evil looks" during the contest.

The library members each won $70 and a clock keychain. Mack Trucks Inc. provided the cash prize.

The event was held at Washington County Technical High School.

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