OSWEGO, NY ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Fulton Savings Bank fought off a barrage of seven competitors and some of the trickiest words yet to earn their fifth title in nine years.
The annual Trinity Catholic School Corporate Spelling Bee is one of the school largest and most popular fund-raisers.
On Friday, eight teams spelled off to earn the right to claim the title and the championship plaque, engraved with the names of the winners.
The eight three-person teams included: FSB, Trinity Catholic Teachers, Novelis, St. MaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Parish, Holy Trinity Parish, Ball Plastics Corporation, A&E Transport Services, and newcomer The Ritz Diner.
The teams battled back and forth on stage at the American Foundry for nearly an hour.
On the vast majority of words, the teams never came close to the two-minute deadline, much less hit one minute for that matter.
The first round usually features easy words; this time, the proper spellings proved to be elusive for some teams.
Barrio proved too much for Ball Plastics.
Bruce Frassinelli, the bee’s pronouncer, pointed out he could define the word and use it in a sentence to help the team.
“Why don’t you just spell it?” joked Ball team member Moira Grimes.
Holy Trinity exited when they added an “e” to wary.
Then The Ritz misspelled dearth ‘dirth.’
“Wow!” exclaimed WSYR-Channel 9 anchor Dan Cummings, the master of ceremonies for the evening. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen three teams go out in the first round.”
As the rounds progressed, the words got a bit harder to spell.
In the second round, St. Mary’s missed relevant.
“Half of the teams are gone, g-o-n-e,” Cummings said.
Novelis escaped the third round correctly spelling prosaic.
However, in the next round, they omitted the first “h” in rhythm.
Trinity’s team dropped out in the fifth round and they reversed the “ie” in liege.
In the sixth round, FSB missed fuchsia. But, so did A&E. And so the two finalists battled on.
FSB properly spelled geisha in the seventh round while A&E took nearly the entire two minutes before misspelling maraschino.
David Mirabito, FSB’s captain, correctly spelled maraschino; and then it all came down to one more word.
on Save Mirabito, and Marilyn Boucher.
When Mirabito correctly spelled barrage FSB was the champion ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ again.
“The words were a bit harder this year,” he said following the event.
“They began harder,” added teammate Marilyn Boucher. “It was more challenging right from the very first round.”
The championship was a team effort, Mirabito noted.
“Everyone pulled together on all the words. We worked as a team,” he said.
They were a bit nervous after missing fuchsia, they said.
“We’ll never forget fuchsia,” laughed Boucher.
“It was fun,” Mirabito added. “Now, we’ll start studying for next year.”
David Friedlander, principal of Trinity, said the event was designed to inspire educational values, team spirit and camaraderie and to raise funds for the support of the Catholic school.
The word list is the same as the one used for the national scholastic spelling bee held in Washington, DC, each spring.
The judges for the competition were Bill Reilly of the river’s end book store and Steve Yablonski of Oswego County Today.com.
Following the bee there was a silent auction, and Bernie Brzostek conducted a live auction featuring a huge variety of donated goods.
Among the items up for bid were “dinner and diamonds” donated by Canale’s and DeFore’s, a Wayne Levi autographed golf bag from A&E, an autographed photo of the Buffalo Bills’ Kawika Mitchell, and items from Garafalo’s, Your Home / Your House, Azteca Grill, Raby’s, Miss Kelly’s, Lighthouse Lanes and several others.
The past winners are: Reynold’s Law Firm in 2000; Fulton Savings Bank in 2001, 03, 05, 06 and 08; Pathfinder Bank in 2002; Nestegg Federal Credit Union in 2004; and the Catholic Community of Fulton in 2007.
Friedlander added he appreciated the help of the teams and everyone else who came to support Catholic education in Oswego County.
Trinity is the sole Catholic school in the county; it is supported by all parishes in the county.
For more information, call 343-6700.