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“My cheeks are florid because I didn’t say ‘begin,’” joked pronouncer Stephen Heimann as he provided the word “florid” to contestants on Sept. 24 at the Bartholomew County Literacy Task Force Spelling Bee, conducted at Columbus North High School. The event, in its fifth year, supports the Tots Reading Lots program which is dedicated to bringing books to preschool children in the county. Contestants spell a word as proctors stand watch over them. Mary Ellen Nelson of the Family School Partners “Nursery Rhymers” team flashes a grin to a teammate. Proctor Tom Watts, right, stands behind contestant John Foster of the White River Broadcasting “Bee Dynasty” team. Susan Whittaker applauds as teams are announced. Contestant Karen Dorough of the Downtown Merchants team “Downtown A-Bs” spells a word. Official timekeeper Greg Lewis, sporting a Dr. Seuss-inspired hat, listens to opening remarks.
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