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2017 Samoa News Territorial Spelling Bee kicks off today

Some of the prizes for the Samoa News Territorial Spelling Bee. [photo: LF]
With major sponsor McDonald’s American Samoa, SN is looking at 32 spellers

The Samoa News 23rd Territorial Spelling Bee kicks off this year amid stormy weather — it’s raining cats & dogs here — but in no way has this stopped Samoa News and the major sponsor of the Territorial Spelling Bee, McDonald’s American Samoa from making sure the champion spellers from elementary schools in the territory have an excellent event, win or lose.

In fact, the Bee (as we fondly call it) is an annual event that seeks to bring together young students  — to compete for the title of “Best Speller in the Territory” — for a year.

This year we have 32 participants, one from each school, with a new school, which is actually categorized by Scripps Spelling Bee, the sponsor of the National Spelling Bee as a  ‘home’ school — KB Academy.

Welcome all to this year’s event, which will be televised live from the studios of KVZK TV, around 8a.m., until the Territorial Spelling Champion is found.

This year Samoa News would like to mention some “unsung heroes” of the Bee. These are people and companies that over the years have continued to sponsor the Bee by donating their services & products, tirelessly.

In no particular order:

The KVZK TV studio and crew, which has televised the Bee, live for years. Their patience with handling, not only manic parents, as well as over-enthusiastic organizers and nervous spellers, has led to successful Bees throughout the years.

Mrs. Evelyn Lili’o-Satele, who first brought the Bee to the notice of then publisher of Samoa News Lewis Wolman, has remained steadfast each year — that’s 23 years — and today still holds practices for each year’s spellers for the Territorial Bee. Allowing them to become familiar with the competition, which has seen students fall apart crying from a misspelt word or just nerves. She encourages spellers “to be confident, take a deep breath and pronounce it out… and then spell it…”

And let’s not forget the four companies that have donated their goods and services for over 15 years or more to the Bee event:

GHC Reid Co.  — Family of beverages — water and juices; Vai’s Florist — ulas for the pronouncers, guests, and judges, as well as flower arrangements for the tables; Skyview Rentals — tables and chairs; and Bluesky Communications — phones and phone cards, as well as other assorted items.

And, Samoa News would be remiss if it did not give special thanks to Eucharist Reupena, who has over the last few years donated his time and creativity to putting together the set for the event and making sure the organizers get it ‘right’.

Finally, there are the elementary schools — private & public — that have participated in the Bee, every year — allowing their students to compete in a high pressured event that seeks to give them the ultimate prize: To compete in the nationals — the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in Washington D.C. 

The 1st prize of the Samoa News Territorial Bee is donated by its major sponsor, McDonald’s American Samoa, which is currently in its 4th year of being the major sponsor of the event.

It includes round trip tickets for the Territory’s Champion Bee Speller and a chaperone, with accommodations for the week -long event, as well as a per diem.

We also have to point to new sponsors to our Territorial Bee: they are Krispy Krunchy Chicken and SOPAC — Aloha Maid, and Zeek’s Treats in Nu’uuli for their magnificent baking goods. Malo lava! Thank you.

For other sponsors, who have donated their gift certificates, SSAB and Carl’s Jr. and pizzas, Paradise Pizza — Samoa News also sends our many thanks.

To all our sponsors and contributors — fa’afetai tele lava!

We are only as successful as our partners.