Etcetera 3-8-13

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Altrusa International of Walla Walla is readying for its sixth children’s spelling bee, which will cause a buzz from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 11 in the Walla Walla Fairgrounds Community Center during the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede.

Financial and in-kind contributions from area businesses help fund the bee. Most sponsors have been with the bee from its inaugural year in 2008. Altrusa members host the event to promote self-esteem, character development, sportsmanship and literacy.

Last year, 97 contestants from area schools applied to compete with others within the same grade levels. For winners in third- through fifth-grade levels, Altrusa provided Kindle Fires for first place; iPod Nanos for second; iPod Shuffles for third; and $25 Amazon.com gift cards for fourth, said Linda Thorson, Altrusa president.

The spelling bee winners participated in the Walla Walla Frontier Days Parade in September, carried along the route aboard a truck provided by sponsor Les Schwab of Walla Walla.

Completed applications should be returned to contestants’ teacher or school office, or mailed to Altrusa Spelling Bee, P.O. Box 643, Walla Walla, WA, by April 24. For additional details, call 529-2261. Word lists can be found at www.union-bulletin.com, www.balloonstampede.com and www.wwps.org.

“Altrusa is blessed to have such great support within our community for this event,” Linda said.

“Our club is a small one, but we do great things within the community and the bee is one of our biggest events.”

New projects in 2013 for Altrusa are providing GED testing books to Blue Mountain Action Council and funding for the Children’s Resiliency Initiative to purchase specific Resilience books for both children and parents that are available through the Walla Walla Public Library.

There’s still time to register for the Great Explorations science, technology, engineering and math adventure for girls in fifth through eighth grades.

Members of the Walla Walla branch American Association of University Women will host the event from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. March 23 at Whitman College.

Participants will get to hear from Jody Wolf, a CSI investigator and assistant Phoenix Police Department crime lab administrator.

Her keynote address will be at noon in Maxey Hall.

Prior to that, girls can attend three informal, hands-on workshops about careers that utilize science, technology, engineering and math.

Early registration is encouraged to get first choice of workshops. The fee is $5 and scholarships are available.

For more information on registration, scholarships or questions on any of the events, please contact Carol Morgan at pcmorgan@charter.net or 525-3531. Online see www.aauw-wallawalla.org or find the organization on Facebook.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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