In the end, it was the correct spelling of "scarlet" and "innocent" that catupulted a Bedminster fifth grader to first place in a spelling bee held Thursday at the Bedminster Township Public School, and attended by 50 students from Basking Ridge, Warren Township, Bernardsville and elsewhere in the Somerset Hills.
The annual event was the ninth annual spelling bee sponsored by the Junior Woman's Club of Somerset Hills, a member of the Generation Federation of Women's Clubs.
Participating students were in the fourth and fifth grade in schools from Bernards Township, Somerset Hills, Warren Township and Bedminster, which has been hosting the annual bee.
At the end of the night the top spellers were: first place, Natalia Youssef, fifth grader at the Bedminster Township school; second place, Bobby Laurino; fourth grader at n Basking Ridge; third place, Anna Skrobala, fourth grader at in Basking Ridge; fourth place, Sydney Brewster, fifth grader at the Mt. Horeb School in Warren Township; and fifth place, Kristen Kohler, fourth grader at ALT School in Warren Township.
First-place price in Thursday's bee was a $75 Visa gift Card donated by in Basking Ridge. Affinity Federal also donated a $50 Visa gift card to the second place winner, and a $25 gift card to the third place winner. Fourth and fifth place runner-ups received $10 iTunes gift cards.
The top three spellers will participate in the North Regional Bee to held on Saturday, March 3, at the West Ridge Elementary School in Park Ridge (snow date March 6), said Helen Stayna of Basking Ridge, who is in charge of publicity for the annual bee. Registration for that event will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the bee will begin at 11 a.m.
The top six winners from the regional bee will participate in the State Spelling Bee on March 10, being held at the State Bee at The NJSFWC Headquarters in New Brunswick.
Chairperson of the event was Bridget Ameo, also co-president of the Junior Woman's Club of Somerset Hills. Byron Smith, professional actor and singer and voice-over artist, was pronouncer.
Judges were Danielle Adams, business solutions offer with Affinity Credit Union, Antoneet D'Orazio, head of youth services witht eh Somerset County Library System, Warren County branch, and Samanth Besek, membership team lead of Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.
All proceeds from the Bee go to local libraries in Bedminster, Bernards Township and Bernardsville. The Junior Women's Club of Somerset Hills is a civic organization serving the community for over 80 years. The club serves the towns of Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Bedminster, Far Hills, Warren, and Peapack Gladstone. The club is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. To contact the club send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org