Story by Gus Wright / Contributing Writer
Photos by Aubrey Salm / Contributing Writer and Photographer
The 15th Annual Read To Succeed Spelling Bee took place Thursday night, intending to have fun with local celebrities and promote literacy.
Read to Succeed recognized a loss they suffered this year, with Paul Vaughan, a senior contributor to Read to Succeed’s success, passing away in mid-October. He was said to have helped grow Read To Succeed where it is now, with his impact on Rutherford County being immense.
The spelling bee was run by numerous nonprofit employees, and the event organizer Jolene Radnoti remarked, “In the nonprofit world, it takes a village and many odd hours out of all our lives to get this all done.”
She then said, “It’s the goal of Read to Succeed to help promote literacy in the hearts and minds of the people of Rutherford County.”
The fundraising goal was nearly achieved early in the night, with numerous donors both on and off stage helping push the overall goal of $55,000 forward.
Lori Cutler won the Spelling Bee late in the night. Afterward, she said, “We’re all winners tonight. It’s okay to be nervous about these things. It’s okay to be nervous trying something new.”
Cutler was not the only person to have won accolades during the night, with fellow spelling bee competitors Lisa Trail and Echell Eady, who won the Most Funds Raised trophy and the trophy for the Most Individual Donors, respectively.
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