Courageous Spirit Lake, Milford and Okoboji elementary and middle school boys and girls were honored as Council Champions of the 2016 Knights of Columbus Spelling Bee. The Iowa Great Lakes Council 5043 sponsored the competition Jan. 14 in the Spirit Lake Middle School music room.
Several “spell-offs” made the competition interesting in each age bracket, and all participants followed the rules impeccably, showing strong confidence and great sportsmanship.
Owen Lalumendre won first place in the 4th Grade Division, with Sydney Hunt and Paige Hinrickson filling the second and third places. Blane Fullmer took the honors in the 5th Grade Bracket. Carter Toews occupied second place, and Ashley Dean took the third spot. In the 6th Grade competition the winner was Lexi Duffy. Brianna Brands won second place, and Vance Katzfey took the third spot. Duffy is from Milford, Katzfey is from Okoboji and all the rest are from Spirit Lake.
Each participant could study a list of words beforehand. First and second place winners may compete in the regional competition Feb. 21 at Gehlen Catholic Schools in Le Mars. Winners there can then advance to the state competition at St. Cecilia Church in Ames March 6.
Iowa Great Lakes Council 5043 is one of the most active in Iowa, in the past year contributing more than $18,000 to local community needs, including ECHO Plus, Iowa Helping Hands Fund, American Wheelchair Mission, the Grotto of the Redemption, Cherish
House, Lauren Schell’s India Mission, Women of the Well Project, Honor Flight for Veterans, as well as to local family, community and parish needs. Local Knights sponsor annual youth events including the Free Throw Competition and the Knights of Columbus Spelling Bee. They also run the Tootsie Roll Drive for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Labor Day weekend, benefiting local organizations.
The Knights of Columbus is an international Catholic family fraternal service organization with 1.8 million members in more than 14,000 local councils. Last year, Knights donated more than 71 million volunteer hours and $173 million to charitable and benevolent causes, sponsoring projects to benefit their church, councils, communities, families and youth.