Rural Express:Winner of Mothers' Spelling Bee Championship
Ruddy Mathison, Gleaner Writer
Alicia Dunn, 44-year-old mother of three, of Church Road, Bog Walk, St Catherine, emerged winner in True United Sisters' (TUS) 2014 Mothers' Spelling Bee Championship, walking away with the Carolyn Graham Championship Trophy.
The competition, held at the Church of the First Born Gospel Hall in Vanity Fair, Linstead, recently, is a replica of The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee. It was the second time True United Sisters (TUS), an organisation that provides assistance for unemployed and unskilled single mothers, hosted the activity, which aims to increase the vocabulary of the participants.
Dunn, who copped second place in the first staging in 2009, was elated. She landed the title after 40 rounds of keen competition, correctly spelling the word C-A-R-T-W-H-E-E-L.
"I am very happy to be the winner and for the exposure. It reminds me of my youthful days when I used to spell at school. I want to say thanks to TUS for having this event," said Dunn, who encouraged other mothers to participate in future competitions.
She was coached by her son, Gabre Reid, a student at the Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town.
First runner-up Ann-Marie Waller, of Rosehall in the parish, also the mother of three, was no less excited as she received the Carol Duhaney-King Trophy.
"I feel great because I wasn't really as prepared as I would want to be for the competition. I am overwhelmed. It was a great event that brought mothers from all over together. I must commend the organisers, especially Miss Sudu for this," she told Rural Xpress.
She had special commendation for her coach, her son Jamario, a grade-six student at the Jericho Primary school.
Veronis Crossman, a 53-year-old mother of seven, living in Church Road, Bog Walk, was crowned second runner-up and was awarded the True United Sisters Trophy. She was coached by Blossom Johnson, a retired teacher. The coaches of the top three received trophies sponsored by Lyndon Taylor, account supervisor/travel lifestyle, Finn Partners, United States of America.
The spellers received certificates of participation sponsored by Noel Hunter, a teacher at the Bonnet Primary School, who lauded Sudu for her continuous efforts to positively affect the lives of women in Linstead and the wider communities.
The competition, originally scheduled for November, was postponed due to lack of sponsorship. Karen Sudu, founder/executive director, TUS, told Rural Xpress that it had been a challenge to sustain the nine-year-old organisation.
"As a non-profit organisation, it's very challenging to survive and host events like these without sponsorship, so I am extremely grateful to all our sponsors for coming on board and helping us to make the event a success," she said.