Source: Record Courier:
Northeast Ohio Senior Spelling Bee Winners announced Tony Suschil to compete at
national event in June
Tony Suschil of Hudson, Muriel Breyley of Streetsboro
and Guenveur Burnell of Kent were the top three finalists winners in the
Northeast Ohio Senior Spelling Bee held May 3 at the Coleman Adult Day Services
Center in Ravenna.
Suschil has two reasons to celebrate his winning the Bee. Suschil’s first place
prize is a trip to Cheyenne, Wy., to compete in the AARP Magazine National
Senior Spelling Bee June 14. The weekend will coincide with his and wife
Katherine’s 40th wedding anniversary. Breyley and Burnell won second and third
place gift baskets respectively.
The top three spellers were among the 20 senior spellers – age 55 and older –
competing in the fourth annual Bee sponsored by the Coleman Foundation. Having
20 spellers compete was just one of the record-breakers, according to Paula
Hartman-Stein, Bee organizer and pronouncer.
“Sharpening your spelling skills, whether for competition or just for the fun of
learning new words, is a great way to stay mentally and cognitively alert. Our
competitors in this year’s Bee certainly demonstrated that spelling bees can be
both a social and intellectual outlet,” Hartman-Stein said.
Other firsts are on record for the event. The oldest competitor and elder
statesman for the event was Clinton Hobbs of Kent, age 93. Sisters Shirley
Wilmoth of Warren and Sharon Church of Niles were the first set of identical
twins to compete.
The fun part of the Bee centered on a Kentucky Derby theme. Hartman-Stein,
attired in riding togs of breeches, boots, and jacket kept the Bee going at a
William E. Childers, Executive Director of the Coleman Foundation, served as
master of ceremonies.
“Having 20 spellers is a record and the 50 other attendees had a great time. The
energy for the event was also great showcase of Adult Day Services,” Childers
Derby-themed decorations and refreshments organized by Kimberly Benner, Madeline
Hakin, Michele Kairis and Sandy Myers of Coleman Professional Services added a
festive touch to the competition.
The first half of the Bee consisted of a written round from which the field was
narrowed to 11 contestants. In addition to Suschil, Breyley and Burnell, those
advancing to the oral round included Grace Rymer, Bob Stevenson, and Barbara
Watson of Kent; Dotty Kosinski of Ravenna; Eleanore Hudgeon, Dave Garvin,
Marjorie Steffan and Gerry Jones, of Hudson.
Laurel Lake Retirement Community of Hudson had the most enthusiastic cheering
section for their residents.
Suschil, fresh from knee replacement surgery three weeks prior to the Bee, put
his recuperation time to good use. An avid reader, Suschil also does cross word
puzzles and enjoys a good game of Scrabble. He is a former magazine editor for
Modern Casting trade magazine. He is retired from Foseco Foundry and Steel in
Judges for the event included M. J. Albacete, Director of the Canton Museum of
Art; Katherine Blackbird, Department of English at Kent State University; Garnet
Byrne, retired teacher and second place winner of the 2007 Bee; and Mary Fals
Spencer, of the Center for Health Aging.
Kentucky Derby themed regalia of a run for the roses horseshoe and win, place
and show ribbons added to the fun of the Fourth Annual Northeast Ohio Senior
Spelling Bee. From left, are, seated, Tony Suschil, Bee winner; and standing,
from left, Paula Hartman-Stein, Bee organizer and pronouncer in riding togs;
Muriel Breyley and Guenveur Burnell, second and third place winners.
William E. Childers, Executive Director of the Coleman Foundation and master of
ceremonies for the Senior Spelling Bee, and Garnet Byrne, one of the Bee judges,
showed up in high style for the Derby Day themed event.
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