Proving you're never too old for a little friendly competition, 11 senior citizens participated in the Senior Spelling Bee on Tuesday at Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee.
The library decided to host the spelling bee partly because of research that seniors should keep their minds active and challenged to delay dementia, and after hearing about a senior spelling bee at the Illinois State Fair, according to Gail Schrader, the library's adult programming specialist.
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"We thought we would try one that would be informal and relaxed," Shrader explained. "I think it's doing wonderfully. They are going through the words much faster than I had anticipated."
The event was sponsored by the Senior Circle program at Vista Health System, the library and the Lake County Council for Seniors.
The older adults seemed nervous as they took turns spelling words, such as librarian, champagne and macabre.
"I was anxious and nervous," said Bill Michell of Gurnee. "They had one (spelling bee) about three years ago, which I won, at the senior center and I wanted to try again."
Divina Huff won the bee with the word "paparazzi."
The event benefited the Food Pantry of the COOL Ministries in Waukegan and Ingleside, as attendees were asked to bring a nonperishable can or boxed good for donation.