FULTON, NY – Big words, big fun, and a chance at big prizes await participants in Oswego County Opportunities Literacy Volunteers’ Scrabble Fest.
On September 22, OCO Literacy Volunteers will hold its 10th Annual Diane Falise Memorial Scrabble Fest.
One of Oswego County’s most entertaining fund raisers, Scrabble Fest offers devotees of the game Scrabble the opportunity to enjoy an evening of friendly competition, and more.
“Scrabble Fest is much more than just another fundraiser, it’s an event,” said Meg Henderson, coordinator of Oswego County Opportunities’ Literacy Volunteers program. “We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our Scrabble Fest. It’s a unique evening that offers the excitement of fast-paced wordplay; encourages participants to express their creativity with clever team costumes; and the enjoyment of some friendly competition for a chance to win some great prizes.”
In addition to providing an entertaining evening for its participants Scrabble Fest serves as a fun way to raise awareness of Literacy Volunteers and its efforts to combat the issue of illiteracy in Oswego County.
In 2015 OCO Literacy Volunteers provided more than 1,000 tutoring sessions to its 45 students. More important is the success of the program and the positive impact it has on those is serves.
“More than half of our students read below a third grade level when they enroll. They possess no more than the most simple and concrete reading skills, however thanks to the wonderful work of our tutors students greatly improve their reading and comprehensive skills, financial literacy skills, math skills, and their overall health as we provide referrals to programs that are able to address other issues that the students or their families may be dealing with,” explained Henderson.
Another measure of the success of OCO Literacy Volunteers is the amount of students that have been able to use the skills they have learned to pass their high school equivalency exam, attain U.S. citizenship, and find gainful employment.
Over the past three years, almost 100 students either gained or were able to retain their employment.
“The opportunity for adults to develop and hone literary, computer and math skills can be life-changing. It’s satisfying to realize that the efforts of our cherished tutors and volunteers can be so impactful,” said Henderson.
Scrabble Fest will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Elks Lodge #271, 132 W. Fifth St., Oswego.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and games will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Teams of four will compete against each other with the top three teams awarded prizes.
With OCO celebrating its 50th anniversary this year Scrabble Fest 2016 will once again offer “Golden Tiles” as a way for teams to earn additional points for their team score.
“Teams will be able to purchase a limited number of ‘Golden Tiles’ which will play as a blank tile and can be used for the letter of their choice. Additionally, we will be awarding an extra 100 points to the team who obtains the highest pledge amount,” explained Henderson.
This year’s Scrabble Fest will also see the return of the “Exchange a Tile” Tokens.
Teams can purchase up to one token per round of play.
If teams have a tray with all vowels, or are stuck with that pesky Q, they can turn in an “Exchange a Tile” token and replace as many tiles as they wish without losing their team’s turn at play.
One “Exchange a Tile” token may be used per round of play.
In addition to the Scrabble competition, Henderson said that there will be a variety of prize drawings, a 50/50 drawing and other fun activities to help support Literacy Volunteers.
Entry fee for a team of four is $100 and includes light food and refreshments.
The cost for individuals wishing to attend but not compete in the event is $15 (this fee includes light food and refreshments).
All proceeds from will benefit OCO Literacy Volunteers.
For more information on Literacy Volunteers or to register a team for the 10th Annual Diane Falise Memorial Literacy Volunteers Scrabble Fest, contact Literacy Volunteers at 315-342-8839 ext. 129, visit www.oco.org, or visit and like the OCO Literacy Volunteers page on Facebook.
“Whether you’re playing, or just rooting on your favorite team, Scrabble Fest is a great opportunity to get your friends, family or co-workers together for an evening of fun for a very worthwhile cause that may have a tremendously positive impact on a person’s life,” Henderson said.
Operating under the auspices of OCO, Literacy Volunteers provides confidential tutoring services at no cost to the student. Tutoring includes basic literacy (reading and writing), English literacy to improve English speaking, reading and writing skills, and some simple math and computer skills.
Volunteers have been providing Literacy tutoring in Oswego County for 50 years.