This Thursday: Celebrity Spelling Bee in Murfreesboro

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Kathryn McPherson of McPherson Veterinary Services holding the trophy with her daughter Stella. Kathryn was the 2015 winner.

Read To Succeed will hold their annual Celebrity Spelling Bee this Thursday, November 10, at World Outreach Church.

Lisa Mitchell, executive director of Read To Succeed said that a single 7th grader will be competing against the adult spellers at the spelling bee...


The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with a silent auction, followed by a dinner at 6 p.m. by Carrabba's Italian Grill, and the spelling bee at 7 p.m.


"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."

More than 19,000 adults struggle to read in Rutherford County, according to ProLiteracy.

"If a local celebrity is willing to risk public humiliation, literacy must be extremely important to them," Mitchell said.

Celebrities from across the community are brushing up on their spelling getting ready for the event and issuing challenges to coworkers, family members, and friends.

While they may be trying to avoid humiliation, most are in it to win it.

This year's 16 celebrity spellers include radio personalities, police and firefighters, educators, business executives, ministers, and local entrepreneurs.

The celebrity spellers will take the stage at 7 p.m., following the announcement of the 2016 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 per person and can be purchased at 615-738-READ, in person at the RTS office, 200 E. Main St. in Murfreesboro, or online at

If the event sells out, Read To Succeed has plenty of other ways to help support literacy in Rutherford County.

"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 and would be very much appreciated.

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

To donate, for tickets or to sponsor, call 615-738-7323 today!

2016 Celebrity Bee Spellers

  1. Marsha Logue - Vice President Wilson Bank & Trust
  2. Ray Broadhead - Headmaster The Webb School
  3. Edwin McKnight - President/CEO McKnight Advisory Group
  4. Retta Gardner - President/CEO Guaranty Trust
  5. Jim Chandler - Morning DJ 107.5 The River
  6. Christa Taylor - Carrabba's Italian Grill
  7. Martha Touchton - Minister of Education St. Mark's United Methodist Church
  8. Cecilia Herrell - Video Journalist and "In the City" Host Murfreesboro Channel 3
  9. Jonah Wells - 2016 Read To Bee winner, 7th grader at Oakland Middle School
  10. Julie Young - Director of Operations Greenhouse Ministries
  11. David Young - Senior Minister North Blvd Church of Christ
  12. Terri Sterling Donovan - Sterling Communications
  13. Jennifer West - Detective Murfreesboro Police Department
  14. Ashley McDonald - Administrative Aide/Public Information Officer Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Dept.
  15. Shawn Williams - Plant Manager of Car Assembly - Smyrna Nissan USA
  16. Alex Smith - NexTech Studios

About Read To Succeed

Read To Succeed was established in the summer of 2003 to promote reading in Rutherford County, with an emphasis on family literacy.

Read to Succeed encourages literacy through programs and events like Literacy Day, Just Me and My Family, ESL classes, Reading in the Schools Day, Read To Bee, Reader Trainings, Imagination Stations, UNPLUG and Read!, One Book, Families That Read Succeed, and one-on-one tutoring for adults.

Read To Succeed supports this mission by fostering literacy partnerships between providers, educators, community helpers and business owners; creating events and programming to promote literacy; and providing resources such as the Lon Nuell Family Literacy Center.

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celebrity spelling bee, Kathryn McPherson, McPherson Veterinary Services, Murfreesboro spelling bee, Read, Read To Succeed, reading, Spelling Bee
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