'Local celebrities' headline fourth annual RVNA Spelling Bee

2015 Spelling Bee contestants include (back Row) Deborah Povinelli of The Ridgefield Running Company; Tom DiMarzo, Scotland School Teacher and RHS Coach; Garry Berger, principal, Berger Legal, LLC; Tony Phillips, director of Ridgefield Social Services; Captain Jeff Kreitz, Ridgefield Police Department; Geoffrey Morris of Ridgefield Magazine, Bee moderator; Dean Miller, Meals on Wheels; and (seated) RVNA nurse practitioner, Mary Ellen Porrata; Daniela Sikora, director of the Ridgefield Chorale; Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray of Temple Shearith Israel; and Christy Kinsman of The Little House Shoppe.

2015 Spelling Bee contestants include (back Row) Deborah Povinelli of The Ridgefield Running Company; Tom DiMarzo, Scotland School Teacher and RHS Coach; Garry Berger, principal, Berger Legal, LLC; Tony Phillips, director of Ridgefield Social Services; Captain Jeff Kreitz, Ridgefield Police Department; Geoffrey Morris of Ridgefield Magazine, Bee moderator; Dean Miller, Meals on Wheels; and (seated) RVNA nurse practitioner, Mary Ellen Porrata; Daniela Sikora, director of the Ridgefield Chorale; Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray of Temple Shearith Israel; and Christy Kinsman of The Little House Shoppe.

Local celebrities will “spell it out” in true Spelling Bee style in the fourth annual RVNA Spelling Bee on Wednesday, March 11, at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Can the Cantor out-spell the police captain? Will the headmaster lose to the honor roll student?  Will the basketball coach beat the baseball coach? Will the lawyer prevail over the pediatrician?

It’s all in good fun and for a great cause — to support RVNA nursing education. Among those competing are RHS senior student Hannah Mercorella; Matt Byrnes, head of Wooster School; Paul Fabbri, RHS teacher and coach; and Dr. Anil Britto of Ridgefield Pediatric Associates.

“This is a terrific group of contestants — they are so enthusiastic and have a great sense of community,” said RVNA Director of Philanthropy Mary Jean Heller. “We are so thankful for their willingness to participate in this fun, family event.”

Last year’s winner was Rabbi Jon Haddon of Temple Shearith Israel. This year, he will participate in support of Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray as her “Lifeline.” Geoffrey Morris of Ridgefield Magazine, winner of the 2012 Spelling Bee, will make his debut as moderator of the event. With the support of a strong panel of judges, the RVNA Spelling Bee will follow the National Scripps Spelling Bee format.

Funds raised through the Bee support RVNA nursing education. RVNA spends roughly $40,000 per year on education and in-service training for its more than 60 nurses, therapists and home health aides. Last year, the agency served nearly 1,200 patients with more than 42,000 home care visits.

The event will be sponsored by Adam Broderick Salon & Spa, BMW of Ridgefield, Fairfield County Bank, Dr. Dana C. Jones, Maida Design, Ridgefield Magazine, The Ridgefield Press, Steven P. Nitz of Fairfield County Financial Services, Ridgefield PBA, Dr. Blaine Langberg, Reliance Merchant Services, Sharps & Flats, and the Ridgefield Education Foundation.

The RVNA Spelling Bee will start at 7 p.m., at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Tickets ($20/ $5 student) can be purchased at RVNA, 90 East Ridge, online at ridgefieldvna.org, or at the door of the event.

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