9th Annual Adult Spelling Bee at the Blairsville Civic Center

April 15, 2010 - T.U.L.I.P. Spelling Bee in Blairsville, Georgia is lotza phun

T.U.L.I.P (Towns Union Literacy Instills Pride) recently held its 9th Annual Adult Spelling Bee at the Union County Civic Center. First place went to the Union County Commissioner’s team – Laura McCullough, Angela Coleman, and David Coleman. T.U.L.I.P. Executive Director Charles Sowers presented them with a beautiful trophy for their efforts.

Second place went to the Blairsville Rotaract Team from NGTC – Freda Conner, Sophie Doeler, and Carli DeGolyer. Third place went to the Blairsville Kiwanis – Buddy Moore, Mary Colwell, and Charlie Krick. Congratulations to these nine winning contestants.

Six teams participated in the event with three spellers on each team. The team members were allowed to collaborate before spelling each given word. The spelling bee started out with easy words like hornet and sneakers, and then progressed to harder words as the spelling bee continued. Other examples of words included celestial, umbilical, corrugated, sphinx, and Bunyanesque.

Charles Sowers, Executive Director of TULIP, coordinated the Blairsville, Georgia Spelling Bee. He thanked all the sponsors for the terrific door prizes including such items as a BBQ grill, power tools, 4 rounds of golf, and gift certificates.

Proceeds from the event go toward various literacy activities in Towns County and Union County including the NGTC Lifelong Learning Center, the Carlton Colwell Detention Center, the Institute for Continuing Learning on the YHC campus, the NGTC Satellite Campus in Blairsville, expanding media systems with libraries in Blairsville and Hiawassee, the Mountain Education Center, and other literacy programs.



T.U.L.I.P (Towns Union Literacy Instills Pride)

March 1, 2006 - Kilowatt Krew wins TULIP's Adult Spelling Bee

T.U.L.I.P (Towns Union Literacy Instills Pride) recently held its Fifth Annual Adult Spelling Bee at the Union County Civic Center in Blairsville, Georgia.

Kilowatt Krew team members, Jim O'Brian, Pat Jackson, and Myra Williamson, did a terrific job. They won first place by spelling the word "recognizance" correctly.

Second place went to the Rotary Rooters, Michelle Hudler, George Pirie, and Marty Godfrey.

Eleven teams participated in the event which included the spelling bee and a trivia contest. Each team consisted of three spellers. They were allowed to collaborate for 30 seconds before spelling the word. All of the teams proved that they were excellent spellers. Words like troika, ayatollah, prestidigitator, and lepidopterology were not easy to pronounce, much less to spell in front of an audience.

Winners of the Trivia Contest trophy went to the Allegheny Masonic Lodge. Team members were Joe Wytovak, Donna Wytovak, and Johnie Garmon.

The trivia event included questions like, "What was the chuckwagon used for in a cattle drive?" and "What is the largest office building in the world?" (Answers were "preparing meals" and "the Pentagon.")

During the evening, a special award was presented to Jim Dobson by Renva Acree. It was given in appreciation for his contribution to literacy and for serving as a TULIP board member for many years.

Norman Cooper, editor of North Georgia News, was official Master of Ceremonies. Cooper entertained the audience with his unique observations. Cooper said, "Spelling is not an easy task. If "gh" stands for P as in Hiccough, if "outh" stands for O as in Dough, if "phth" stands for T as in Phthisis, if "eigh" stands for A as in neighbor, if "tte" stands for T as in Gazette, if "eau" stands for O as in Plateau, then the right way to spell potato should be "ghoughphtheightteeau"!

Barbara Williams did a good job in her role as pronouncer. She called out the words to be spelled, gave the meanings, and used the words in a sentence.

Amy Gibby Rosser acted as Judge and Queen Bee. She was responsible for the word listings and verification of spelling.

Word Checker was Kathy Rich and official Timer was Majorie Brown. They assisted the Queen Bee by timing the teams with a stop watch and verifying spelling.

Charles Sowers, Executive Director of TULIP, was coordinator of the Spelling Bee. He thanked all the sponsors for the terrific door prizes which included a heavy duty staple gun, 4 rounds of golf, gift baskets, gift certificates, and an electric grill.

Proceeds from the event will help the various literacy activities in Towns and Union Counties including the Adult Education Center in Hiawassee, the Lifelong Learning Center in Blairsville, tutoring at the Detention Center, and various children's reading programs.

Mr. Charles Sowers
Mr. Charles Sowers

April 26, 2006 - TULIP for Literacy

Did you ever see the movie, Stanley & Iris? The story goes like this - an illiterate cook (Robert De Niro) attracts the attention of a newly widowed woman named Iris (Jane Fonda). As they get to know one another, she discovers his inability to read. When Stanley is fired because of his lack of reading skills, Iris takes on the job of teaching him.

Many people in Union and Towns Counties are like Stanley - they can't read or write. These people face ridicule, embarrassment, low self-esteem, and below poverty incomes. Most aren't lucky enough to have an Iris in their life, but they can have a TULIP.

TULIP stands for "Towns Union Literacy Instills Pride". TULIP reaches out into the community to find people that need to learn to read and write. Hopefully, family members will tell their loved ones about the program.

Some doctors and other health professionals take the initiative and recommend TULIP to their patients that need help. It is important to speak up because the individuals needing TULIP's help the most will not be reading the articles and announcements.

There is only one paid employee at TULIP, the Executive Director, Charles Sowers. He helps out where he is needed. One week he might be teaching English as a second language, the next week working one on one, helping a student with learning disabilities. All of the different learning programs at Lifelong Learning Center work together for the good of the community.

TULIP also recruits, trains, supervises, and supports volunteer tutors using approved professional techniques. The tutors attend 16 hours of training. TULIP is governed by a 21 member Board of Directors, all volunteers, and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Sowers says, "Our purpose is to educate people. If anyone needs help, we will find it for them!"

Sowers would like to thank everyone that has supported TULIP with their time and donations. He says, "Children's books are always welcome. Why give out candy to children, when you can give a book?" Sowers handed out hundreds of books during Blairsville's 2005 Annual Christmas Parade, not only to please the children, but to promote awareness.

NGTC provides office space for Sowers and the TULIP program at the Lifelong Learning Center (Shirley Miller Building). TULIP is funded by the community and holds many unique fund raisers. Sowers has implemented a yearly spelling bee, a tulip bulbs for donation drive and the popular Blue Jeans for Literacy Program. He also has ideas for future events including a golf tournament and trivia contest.

TULIP was started six years ago by concerned people to promote literacy in Towns and Union Counties. TULIP's mission is to mobilize available resources into an adult literacy campaign that functions within state certification guidelines. The organization exists for the sole purpose of increasing the literacy level of the residents of Union and Towns counties. Their goal is to have a literate community within the next ten years. Basic to the philosophy of TULIP is the concept that each person, prospective student, and volunteer, is of equal worth.