Orland Park To Co-Sponsor 33rd Annual Spelling Bee

Orland Park To Co-Sponsor 33rd Annual Spelling Bee
Posted on 10/05/2011

An Orland Park tradition returns on Sunday, October 16, 2011 when the Village of Orland Park and the Presbyterian Church of Orland Park co-host the 33nd annual Orland Park Open Spelling Bee.

"This is a wonderful event for all ages," said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. "The Orland Park community is grateful to Dr. Smith for creating this contest that brings back the small town feel from the village's early days," the mayor added.

"'Little House on the Prairie,' by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is what triggered the idea of a community wide spelling bee," said Dr. Bill Smith, who served as superintendent of Alsip School District 126 for 31 years.

"In the story, they had an all town spelling bee in 1882 in the Dakota Territories. I held my first spelling bee during our nation's bi-centennial in Oak Lawn in 1976 and have held over one hundred since then," Smith said.

"It's a testament to Dr. Smith and the spelling bee that this tradition has continued in Orland Park for more than three decades," said Trustee Ed Schussler, one of the competition's first judges in 1979.

The 2:00 p.m. bee will be held at the Presbyterian Church of Orland Park, 13401 South Wolf Road. There is no cost to participate and pre-registration is available by calling 708/429-7764 or 708/460-0948.

"The Orland Park Open Spelling Bee affords an opportunity for inter-generational competition," Smith said, "You don't find many things that do that."