R-a-s-o-r-i-a-l That was the word that failed to stump Houston Bar Association team members Linda Marshall and Ben Wickert at the Houston Center for Literacy's Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee thereby catapulting the duo once again to top position. They won last year's competition as well, maintaining HBA's gold medal tradition.
Over the years, an HBA team has won 11 of the spelling bees.
It was a winning night all around at the historic Julia Ideson Library, as proceeds of almost $200,000 were the highest ever earned at the event, nearly 25 percent more than in 2013. No one could have been happier with that success than spelling bee chairs Nicole and Evan H. Katz. Of course, Houston Center for Literacy president and CEO Sheri Foreman Elder was all smiles.
Guaranteeing a spirited event, Houston Center for Literacy brought in New York-based comedian Courtney Davis of Upright Citizens Brigade to lead the spell-off. Joining her were CultureMap co-founder Nic Phillips and his former theater diction teacher from HSPVA, Bob Singleton. No need to guess who pronounced the words — it was the well-spoken Singleton.
Joining in support of the Center for Literacy and saluting the evening's honoree, H-E-B, were Houston Public Library director Rhea Lawson, Jeff Early, Ana Lee and Marc Jacobs, Vanessa and Tony Sanchez, Vanessa and Eduardo Sanchez, Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson, Jennifer and Justin Segal, Susie and Sanford Criner, Isabel and Danny David and H-E-B's Cyndy Garza-Roberts.