It promises to be a knock-down, drag-out event of epic proportions – a showdown of 15 teams for the title of best spellers in Wallowa County.

The Letter Bee, a county-wide spelling bee organized by Rotary Club of Wallowa County, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Community Connection center in Enterprise. Admission is $5 for spectators and supporters; the teams all paid a $60 fee to take part.

Proceeds will be split between the Rotary Scholarship Fund and the winning team’s local nonprofit or charity of choice.

The spelling bee idea was born out of Rotary’s desire to provide a fun, community event, that would help provide scholarship money for high school seniors headed for college. Rotary decided to split the money with the winning team as an extra enticement to groups who supported other areas of interest, according to event chairperson Jolene Cox.

“This event is a win/win for all, the participants who are bound to have a great time, the facilitators who have had fun putting this fundraiser together, and the recipients whowill benefit from the shindig,” Cox said.

Each team has a sponsor and three team members. Costumes are encouraged, and organizers expect imaginations to run rampant in coming up with team attire.

Rotarian Don Swart will be delivering the words for spelling, while fellow Rotarian Rich Wandschneider will serve as moderator.

A word will be delivered and if more than one team is correct in the spelling, the definition will be requested. There will be Letter Bee judges in actual judge robes to deliver the verdict on correct spellings and definitions.

Each team will be given three balloons; with an incorrect spelling, a “stinger” will be assigned to pop a balloon. A team is “out” when its three balloons are all popped. However – because the object is to raise funds – teams will have the opportunity to purchase a Re-Ride, or another balloon for another try.

Refreshments will be served at the spelling bee.

Among teams signed up for the challenge are one from Enterprise High School, one from Wallowa High School and others sponsored by various organizations and individuals.

A few names of the participating teams are: Beez Edukated; Sassy Suffragettes; Spellbinders; Signed, Seal and Delivered; and Wullouwa Countee Halth Cear Distract Champeen Spellars.

The public is encouraged to cheer on their favorite spellers.

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