Lakemont Lions hold spelling bee for local students

Courtesy photo Doug Meintel, Lakemont Lions Club Spelling Bee organizer, presented the new traveling trophy to Gilden Pletcher, 2018 Lakemont Lions Club Spelling Bee winner. Also shown are Kelly Clouser, principal, at Mowrie A. Ebner Elementary School, Altoona; and Mary Ellen Lang (right), Gilden's teacher.

The Lakemont Lions Club hosted its 44th annual spelling bee on April 10. The winner of this year’s event was Gilden Pletcher from Mowrie A. Ebner Elementary School, Altoona Area School District.

Lakemont Lions started a new tradition with this competition, that of a traveling trophy that stays at the winner’s school for a year. The spelling bee winner’s school name is engraved on the trophy. The club unveiled the new trophy April 10, dedicated to Lakemont Lions Larry and Susan Edwards. The Edwards have served in various leadership capacities with the Lakemont Club, as well as with Lions PA District 14L.

The spelling bee winning student also earned an ice cream social, hosted by the Lakemont Lions Club members, for the student’s entire class.

Gilden Pletcher and 21 classmates received their ice cream social on April 24 at Ebner School.

This was a record year for participation in the bee, with 14 students from seven schools competing.

Participants were Josh Warmath and Jacob Ceglar, Holy Trinity Catholic School, Altoona; Liam Gibbons and Hunter Hatch, Great Commission Schools, Altoona; Samantha Dodson and Dalton Davis, St. Patrick Catholic School, Newry; Casey Walk and Sam Kessinger, Baker Elementary, AASD; Tyreese Hardison and Bridgette Miller, Logan Elementary, AASD; Ashley Stewart and Isabella Graham, Pleasant Valley Elementary, AASD; and Rebecca Matous and Gilden Pletcher, Ebner Elementary, AASD.

Erik Mentzer, an instructor at Mount Aloysius College, Cresson, served as wordsmith for the bee.

The panel of judges included Patsy Carothers, Cris Fredrickson and Ashley Hawkins. Lakemont Lions Doug Meintel and Sondra Stacey organized the event.

The club expressed appreciation to parents, teachers and principals for attending the event and for supporting the participating students.

Lions Tom Bradley, Rich Luckner and Pat Labriola also were acknowledged and thanked for conducting the Lakemont Lions Spelling Bee during the entirety of its prior 43 years’ existence.

Lakemont Lions Club annually invites fifth- and sixth-graders from Blair County schools to participate in the spelling bee.

Each school selects two students to represent their school.

As the 45th annual spelling bee is planned for next year, schools should expect letters of invitation to the competition in late winter or early spring. The club strives for growth in the competition and welcomes any inquiries from Blair County schools.

At the beginning of the next school year, the Lakemont Club will invite school and student participation in the annual Lions International Peace Poster contest, where students produce a poster as part of a world-wide competition.

Students ages 11 to 13 (14th birthday not occurring before Nov. 15, 2018) are eligible to participate, vying for cash prizes.

The 2018-19 international poster theme is “Kindness Matters.”

Lakemont Lions Club will circulate contest flyers in the fall. Students and teachers can get additional information by contacting Lion Doug Meintel at 932-4545.

Lakemont Lions Club serves the local community through vision screenings, activities benefitting veterans, participation in environmental projects, holiday flower deliveries to shut-ins, and other activities.

The club collects used eyeglasses as part of the Lions Recycle for Sight program, providing eyeglasses to people in third-world countries.

Lions Club International Foundation provides monetary assistance across the globe in support of persons affected by disasters.

Lakemont Lions welcomes new members. Information on joining Lake-

mont Lions Club is available by calling Membership Chairperson Susan Edwards at 932-3216.