New Springfield spelling bee champs crowned


A new spelling champion was crowned Tuesday afternoon as part of the 20th annual Altrusa Literacy Sting in Springfield.

RELATED: Springfield lawyers once again claim local spelling bee honors

The team of Tami Long, Cathy Krizner and Sabrina Ratliffe from Baker Krizner Financial Planning correctly spelled the word “consultation” to beat defending champions Shane Latham, Ann Ringler and Jessica Brewer of law firm Gorman, Heskauf, Venson and Wineberg.

It’s the first time in eight tries the financial planning business has won the spelling bee, Krizner said. The law firm team has won the adult spelling bee seven times.

“Usually, the attorneys beat us,” Krizner said. “We just got lucky with our words. We happened to know (the words) this year.”

The Springfield News-Sun team of Editor Samantha Sommer, Columnist Tom Stafford and Staff Writer Parker Perry finished third.

The bee is the largest fundraiser for Altrusa International Club of Springfield, President Sandy Fitzwater said. The group raises money for several literacy programs, such as the Clark County Literacy Coalition.

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Altrusa also buys more than 6,000 books for Clark County readers and provides tutoring. It’s given out about 150,000 books over the past 20 years, she said.

About 28 percent of Clark County residents are illiterate, Fitzwater said. Literacy helps people not only perform better at the work place, , she said, but also function in society.

“We want to be able to do the best that they can do,” she said.

The bee started out with about five teams 20 years ago and has had as many as 22, she said. About 200 people attended the event Tuesday, Fitzwater said.

The spelling bee attracts several teams each year from organizations such as Clark State Community College, Security National Bank and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s a worthwhile cause and we’re happy to support it,” Krizner said.

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