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Read to Succeed 2020 "To Bee or not to Bee" Celebrity Spelling Bee Was A Success



On the evening of Thursday, November 5, friends and supporters of Read To Succeed attended the 14th Annual “To Bee Or Not To Bee” Celebrity Spelling Bee virtual event on Facebook LIVE. At the end of the competition, Michael Linn White, City of Murfreesboro journalist and host, was named the 2020 Spelling Bee Champion. In the final round, she beat out local business owner Kara Kemp with the correct spelling of “massacres.” White and Kemp faced off for 15 rounds. In the final round, Kemp misspelled “anecdote,” which cost her the win but earned her second place. Kara Kemp also received an award for the most individual donations in her name, and The Ultimate Predator received the award for raising the most money.

The Ultimate Predator won third place in the spelling competition; Abdou Kattih, president of Murfreesboro Muslim Youth, won fourth place and SRO Officer Christopher Williams won fifth place.

In addition to the spelling bee, the night included a tribute to Dr. Linda Gilbert with heartfelt messages from friends and family, the announcement of the 2021 One Book (Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds) and a moving testimonial from an adult learner.

“We are thrilled about the success of our first virtual Celebrity Bee,” said Read To Succeed Executive Director Jolene Radnoti. “It was an honor to highlight Dr. Linda Gilbert, and the support from the brave spellers, sponsors and community was beyond what we could hope for.

Our fundraising goal was $40,000, and we exceeded that before the start of the event!” Thanks to the spellers, sponsors and individual donors, Read To Succeed raised $43,000.

“These funds help sustain our organization and allow us to continue our mission to improve lives of families in Rutherford County through literacy,” Radnoti said. “We thank everyone who participated, donated and promoted this event. We hope to see you in person next year!”

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