Sheriff Hamilton, Olga Campos & Nathan Bernier will Officiate Spelling Bee Fundraiser

Event in April to raise $100,000 for Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
AUSTIN, Texas - March 11, 2015 - PRLog -- Austin, Texas – On Thursday, April 30, celebrity officials, community leaders, and spellers will flock to the Scottish Rite Theater in downtown Austin for the 12th Annual Great Grown-up Spelling Bee for Literacy (

Taking the main stage as the night’s co-emcees are broadcast journalists Olga Campos (formerly of KVUE) and Nathan Bernier (currently of KUT, Austin’s NPR station). Spelling Judges include Travis County’s Sherriff Greg Hamilton, musician and humanitarian Christine Albert, and former TV sportscaster Dave Cody.

Veteran Bee Officials Keri Bellacosa and Jennifer Stayton return as official Pronouncer and Timekeeper, respectively. This year will mark 4 years that Ms. Bellacosa, and 6 years that Ms. Stayton has graced the stage during the Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee.

Costumed spellers representing local Austin businesses and sponsors including H-E-B, Dell, Texas Capital Bank, the Austin American-Statesman, Silicon Labs, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld,, Kirkus Reviews & Texas Book Festival, and Freescale will take the stage during this annual fundraiser, which supports the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas. Along with the grand prize for spelling, teams compete for Best Costume and Most Spirit Awards, and audiences are invited to participate in “Twitter Spells” and good-natured heckling.

The infamous Austin Babtist Women will provide entertainment and comic relief throughout the evening. The Austin Babtist Women are an all-male, all-volunteer performing group who have helped raise over $6 million for local charitable causes through theatrical and musical performance.

Board members and Event Co-Chairs Elizabeth Danon-Leva and Sally Clark-Raphael are thrilled for this year’s event. “With every successful Bee, we are able to serve more people in our community and help countless families in Central Texas,” says Danon-Leva. The group’s goal is to raise $100,000 to support its literacy programming for adults and families in Central Texas.

The Bee starts with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6pm and the contest begins at 7pm. Sponsorships are still available, and tickets are going fast. While you don’t have to dress in a crazy costume, it’s strongly encouraged. A limited number of press passes are available. Contact Maegan Ellis to reserve one today.

As many as 1 in 5 adults living in Central Texas can’t read or write well enough to fill out a job application.  The Literacy Coalition improves regional literacy rates by supporting community-based educational programs that are outside of the public K-12 education system. Our network includes programs in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties. Programs that we support include family literacy, GED preparation classes, workplace skills development, English as a Second Language (ESL), computer literacy, health literacy, and more.

To learn more about the Literacy Coalition or the Great Grown-up Spelling Bee tickets and sponsorships, please visit or call Maegan Ellis at (512) 236-1711.

Maegan Ellis
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Tags:Fundraiser, Nonprofit, Literacy, Adult Education
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Location:Austin - Texas - United States
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