Who will it be? The academic or the artist? The clerk or the cop? The doctor or the general? Will the CEO show everybody who’s boss? Or is it all a moot point … because the lawyer will take the case!  

Find out on Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Ridgefield Playhouse when our local literati go head to head, word for word, at the eighth annual RVNA Spelling Bee.

The RVNA Bee is modeled after the famous National Scripps Spelling Bee — with a few twists to keep it interesting.  Like Scripps, the RVNA Bee includes a lineup of worthy competitors; a panel of illustrious judges; and an official moderator. Unlike Scripps, the RVNA Bee contestants are not under the age of 15; and spelling a word correctly is not the only way to advance to the next round.  

At the RVNA Bee, each contestant can bring a Lifeline to bail them out in times of trouble; RVNA contestants can also donate twice to the “honey pot,” sparing themselves the need to spell a particularly unappealing word; and, if an RVNA contestant misspells a word, the audience can “buy them back” into the competition. All’s fair in love and fundraising!  

Proceeds from the annual RVNA Spelling Bee support the agency’s Nursing Education program, providing the training and development to keep the RVNA nursing team top in the field.  RVNA spends roughly $40,000 annually on education for its more than 80 nurses, therapists and home health aides. Last year, the agency served more than 1,600 patients, making well over 50,000 home care visits in 28 Connecticut towns.


The 2019 RVNA Spelling Bee contestant lineup includes:

  • Mark Blandford – Ridgefield Historic District Commission

  • Kim Bova – Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce

  • Katie Diamond – ACT of Connecticut

  • Karl Habib – Silver Spring Country Club

  • Will Harrison – Reese, Hirsch, Shoults & Harrison

  • Brittny Howell, MD – The Vascular Experts

  • Pamme Jones – Ridgefield Theater Barn

  • Margaret Keane – Synchrony Financial

  • Basil Kolani – Ridgefield Academy

  • Wendy Lionetti – Ridgefield Town Clerk

  • Bob Mahoney – BMW of Ridgefield

  • Cybele Maylone – The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

  • Shawn Platt – Ridgefield Police Department

  • Melissa Woodhouse – RVNA

  • RHS Mystery Student! – Ridgefield High School

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 2019 judges are Theresa Santoro , RVNA president and CEO; Geoffrey Morris , editor and publisher, TownVibe and winner of the 1 st RVNA Spelling Bee in 2011; and Jonathan Winn , founder and co-artistic director of Thrown Stone and winner of the 2018 RVNA Spelling Bee.


The RVNA Spelling Bee is Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00pm at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Tickets ($20 Adult, $5 Student) can be purchased online at ridgefieldvna.org; at RVNA, located at 27 Governor Street; or at the door on the night of the event.

Call RVNA at 203-438-5555. Visit RVNA at www.ridgefieldvna.org.