By Nicole Mauro
For 20 consecutive years, the 10 Rotary Clubs of Wayne County have come together to host the Wayne County Rotary Spelling Bee to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County. This year, on February 9, 2019, the Razorfish Reciters took home the first place trophy from the competition held at the Wayne Central Performing Arts Center. The Arc Wayne has sponsored a team for all 20 years, they have place first a total of seven times.
The Arc Wayne is proud to be a continual sponsor of the Razorfish Reciters, formerly known as the Barracudas. Ten teams competed in the competition this year, the Razorfish Reciters housed three members, all employees of The Arc Wayne. Lisa Powers is a case manager, David Englert, a project coordinator, and Jason, a production worker.
After registering for the event, their team gets together for weekly spelling lunches to prepare for the competition. Jason would sometimes use braille flashcards to study as well.
“Jason likes to spell medical words, words that mean small and food words,” Powers said.
When competing, each team is timed while they collaboratively come to an agreement of the best way to spell the word.
“S-e-p-t-i-c-i-z-a-t-i-o-n,” Jason spelled out, that was the winning word this year, meaning treatment of sewage by septic action.
One of Jason's favorite memories from the past years of competing was when the event was previously held at the Eastview Mall because that meant that they could get Mrs. Fields’ cookies. He is already looking forward to next year’s spelling bee.
The mission of Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County is to promote and foster increased literacy in our community. They do this through a variety of programs and activities that provide opportunities for adults to learn, encourage reading in the community, and help children succeed in school. They have raised nearly $80,000 throughout the 20 years.
“Literacy Volunteers truly appreciates the support of so many community members, like Jason and The Arc Wayne, who have come together for the past 20 years to help raise awareness and support for the literacy needs in our community,” said Chris Edgar, Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County director and chair of the 2019 Wayne County Rotary Spelling Bee.
The Arc Wayne is a nonprofit parent-based organization that advocates for and serves more than 1,700 individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities in Wayne and surrounding counties. Key Industries serves as a contract packaging and assembling business that adheres to individuals with disabilities and employs more than 150 individuals and professional staff members. Just one of many programs the The Arc Wayne offers to connect individuals and families to a world of possibilities.
Jessica Blondell, our Development Coordinator, writes all of our blog posts to keep everyone who supports The Arc Wayne up-to-date with what the agency is doing in the community. Enjoy!