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Lumpkin Literacy Adult Spelling Bee


A sold-out, standing room only packed the Holly Theater for our 10th Annual Adult Spelling Bee, August 28, 2014, at the historic Holly Theater in downtown Dahlonega, Ga.


For the first time in Bee history, two teams won and will share the coveted Mr. Bee trophy. Winners were the St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church Heavenly Host team of Melissa Lach, David Connoly and Wilma Bammer, and the Sunrise Rotary Crimson Tide team of Donna Gessell, Rudy Connor and Larry DePriest. 


Taking the Stinger Award for audience favorite was the Obi Wans from the Northeast Physicians Group - Mark Moers, Ben Fleming, and CJ Haynes.


Lumpkin Literacy wants to thank all those who participated in, worked on, worked at, and sponsored the best Bee ever.


What is the Adult Spelling Bee?

A night of laughs, some really unusual on-stage antics, and truly funny attempts at spelling difficult words - that's the Bee, a once a year event, hosted by Lumpkin Literacy.


Corporate and team sponsorships, ticket sales, program ad sales, and donations raised from the annual Bee funds Lumpkin Literacy programs, including the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the Adult Literacy Program (ALP), and the ESL instructional program.


Bee's Who's Who

What a Bee night we had! We lined up a list of Lumpkin dignitaries, celebritiaries, and volunteers to make our 10th Annual Spelling Bee night of laughter and excitement. Included among the 2014 Bee people were -


  • Queen Bee - Diane Houser, Dahlonega Woman's Club

  • Bee M.C. - Jay Markwalter, Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director

  • Wordsmith - Dr. Stephen Smith, Psychology Professor at University of North Georgia

  • Time Keeper - Dr. John Raber, former Chairman of the Lumpkin County Commission

  • Judges - Matt Aiken, Publisher of The Dahlonega Nugget, and Stacy Jarrard, Lumpkin County Sheriff, and Dr. Bonita Jacobs, President University of North Georgia, Honorary Judge

  • Bee Director - David Rothel

  • Sound Engineer - Ray McCurdy

  • Lighting Director - Clair Williamson

  • Spotlight Operator - Beth Minnear

  • Head Bee Keeper (and Bee Chair) - Julie Leibel, Lumpkin Literacy Board Member and Fundraising Chairperson

  • Assistant Bee Keeper - Patti Mills

  • Bee Volunteer Chairperson - Arienne Wallace, Lumpkin Literacy Board Member

  • Audience Spelling Bee Organizers - Representatives of the Dahlonega Woman's Club


Bee Teams and Sponsors

Three-person teams competed for the coveted Mr. Bee trophy. Each team was sponsored by a local Lumpkin business or organization. Here is a list of the 2014 Teams.



A sold-out, standing room only crowd packed the Holly Theatre for the 10th Annual Lumpkin Literacy's Adult Spelling Bee. 

Reigning over the 2014 Bee was Queen Bee Diane Houser, seen here all abuzz in front of her on-stage hive.

The Obi-Wans (Mark Moer, CJ Haynes, and Ben Fleming) won the Stinger Award as the audience's favorite team. The Obi-Wans represented the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group.

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