RVNAhealth 9th annual Spelling Bee set for March 18

The RVNAhealth 9th annual Spelling Bee will be held on Wednesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. at the Ridgefield Playhouse. For tickets, at $20 adult and $5 student, go to rvnahealth.org, visit RVNAhealth, 27 Governor St., or purchase at the door on the night of the event.

This year’s contestant line-up features Ryan Arconti, Fairfield County Bank; Annie Cozens, Ridgefield High School and Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield; Lieutenant Brian Durling, Ridgefield Police Department; Edton Ganal, MD, OrthoConnecticut; Pete Goldstein, Adam Broderick Salon & Spa; Liz Hartery, Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC; Kyle Martinez, Ancona's Wines & Liquors; Michael McNamara, Ridgefield High School Music Department; Cindy Merritt, RVNAhealth; Chris Perry, Ridgefield Guild of Artists; Naomi Collinge-Riek, Fit Club; Sarah Zitnay, Nod Hill Brewery.

The spelling bee winner will receive a special date night from BMW of Ridgefield, featuring a BMW with driver for the evening; a gift certificate to a local restaurant; and tickets to a show at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

Modelled after the National Scripps Spelling Bee, this annual RVNAhealth event follows traditional spelling bee rules, with a few creative twists.

At the RVNAhealth Spelling Bee, each contestant may bring a Lifeline to bail them out in times of trouble (twice); RVNAhealth contestants may also donate twice to the “honey pot,” sparing themselves the need to spell a particularly tricky or unfamiliar word; and, if an RVNAhealth contestant misspells a word, they may appeal to the audience to “buy them back” into the competition.

Proceeds from the annual RVNAhealth Spelling Bee support the agency’s Nursing Education program. RVNAhealth budgets significant funds annually to educate its more than 80 nurses, therapists and home health aides. Last year, the agency served more than 2,100 patients, making nearly 44,000 home care visits in 28 Connecticut towns.

Returning to emcee again this year is Daniela Sikora, creative director of the Ridgefield Chorale, who also made contestant appearances in the 2014 and 2015 Bees. The 2020 judges are Theresa Santoro, RVNAhealth president and CEO; Geoffrey Morris, editor and publisher, TownVibe and winner of the 1st RVNAhealth Spelling Bee in 2012; and Basil Kolani, founding director of the Center for Innovative Learning and Teaching at Ridgefield Academy and winner of the 2019 RVNAhealth Spelling Bee.

2020 RVNAhealth Spelling Bee sponsors include Title Sponsor: Fairfield County Bank; Queen Bees: Adam Broderick Salon & Spa; BMW of Ridgefield; Honey Bees: Ancona’s Wines & Liquors; Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC; Mr. and Mrs. Eric Freidenrich; Reynolds & Rowella LLP; Ridgefield Academy; We Do Lines/Young’s Fencing; Worker Bees: Montanari Fuel Service Inc.; The Groom Room; The Pilates Barre; Turner Mechanical Services, Inc.; Webster Bank The Buzz: HamletHub, The Ridgefield Press.