Annual Read To Succeed Celebrity Spelling Bee is Thursday, Nov. 9

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Read To Succeed will hold the 2017 Celebrity Spelling Bee Thursday, Nov. 9 at World Outreach Church.

"We really appreciate the celebrity spellers and dozens of volunteers that help make this event so much fun and such a great success each year," said Lisa Mitchell, executive director, Read To Succeed. "If you have never joined us, please plan to do so this year. You will have a great time, the spellers will appreciate your encouragement, and Read To Succeed needs your support."

The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with a silent auction, followed by a dinner at 6 p.m. by Outback Steakhouse, and the spelling bee at 7 p.m.

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As the only fundraiser for Read To Succeed, the night's success is important to the success of the nonprofit, Mitchell said. "As Murfreesboro grows, the need for the services we provide continues to increase," she said. Thousands of adults in Rutherford County struggle to read. A donation of as little as $5 can pay for an hour of literacy tutoring for an adult in need.

The bee's slogan is, "If a local celebrity is willing to risk public humiliation, it must be important."

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Celebrities from across the community are brushing up on their spelling getting ready for the event. Spellers will have the opportunity to meet one another at a pre-bee luncheon hosted by Carrabba's.

While they may be trying to avoid humiliation, most are in it to win it. Of course, Read To Succeed believes they are ALL winners!

This year's 2017 celebrity spellers include radio personalities, police and firefighters, teachers, community volunteers and local entrepreneurs. Martha Touchton of St. Mark's United Methodist Church will serve as pronouncer for the evening. Judges include Janie Becker, RTS Executive Board, Dallas Jessup, Ingram Content Group, and Suzy Willis, Murfreesboro City Schools (retired).

The celebrity spellers will take the stage at 7 p.m., following the announcement of the 2017 One Book, community read. After the One Book selection is revealed, the book will be available for purchase.

Last year, community support was so great the event sold out. Seating is limited again this year.

Tickets are $50/person and can be purchased at 615-738-READ, or in person at the RTS office at 415 N. Maple Street in Murfreesboro. If the event sells out, Read To Succeed has plenty of ways to help encourage literacy.

"I want to encourage everyone to get involved with Read To Succeed. We have dozens of opportunities for you to volunteer depending on the amount of time you have available," Mitchell said.

Silent auction items and sponsors are still needed.

Sponsorship levels are Diamond ($7,500), Platinum ($5,000), Gold ($2,500), Silver ($1,500), Bronze ($1,000), and Friend ($500).

To donate or sponsor, call 615-738-READ.

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