It’s time to start practicing those spelling skills and put them to the test when the TreeHouse Afterschool Program hosts its 3rd annual Adult Spelling Bee competition and silent auction event starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.

Last year the event raised $3,500 for the TreeHouse program naming Kelly Moore, Benjamin Marcum and Karen Sargent — The Three Amigos — as the winners.

“The Board of Directors is once again hosting an adult spelling bee to raise money for the nonprofit organization, which provides free child care, mentoring, tutoring, snacks and activities in a safe environment for school-aged children in kindergarten through fourth grade,” states the TreeHouse press release. “The program relies solely on funds from Erath County United Way and donations from private citizens; it serves about 50 children per school year.”

Each team participating can have no more than three members, ages 18 and older, and teams will pay $100 each to be a part of the competition.

“First, we want everyone to have fun. To alleviate some of the pressure of a traditional spelling bee, teams will be provided with a dry erase board to write out each word and team members will work together to determine the correct spelling,” said spelling bee committee member Jennifer Muncey.

Teams will have 15 seconds to write down their answers and must display their board before time is up, otherwise it is counted as a misspelled word, which results in elimination from the contest.

However, if a team is eliminated they can purchase up to two passes for $50 each and stay in the competition.

“We hope donors and participants will work together to help make this fundraiser an entertaining and successful way to raise money for our children,” said TreeHouse Director Leann Pate. “If a local business would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the event to cover the cost of a team entry and the passes, they can recruit employees and family members to represent their business.”

The deadline for registration is 5 p.m. Monday, April 17, and since the teams are limited to eight total, they will be accepted on a first-come basis.

A silent auction will follow the spelling bee at 7:30 p.m. and last year’s event had 68 items up for auction.

For more information contact Muncey at 254-592-9083 or Carolyn at 214-708-7672.