On Friday, August 15, 2014, Eight Diamond Townhouses held the Eighth Annual Interstate Realty Management Company/Better Tomorrows Spelling Bee Finals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Participants included students from affordable housing communities in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area who qualified during other, more local spelling bee competitions. The event hosted competitors across two age groups – 8- to 10-year-olds and 11- to 14-year-olds – was emceed by the tradition "Voice of the IRM/BT Spelling Bee," Mr. Frederick Stroud.
The older age group included two-time defending champion Antione Allen, 14 of McGuire Gardens in Camden, New Jersey. He is the first and only contender to win first place in both age groups, having now competed in the spelling bee for several years.
After several rigorous rounds of competition, first and second place prizes were awarded to the winners from both age groups. Allen defended his title, winning first place in the older bracket, with Nirvana Rodriguez of West Poplar Apartments in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as second place, runner-up.
In the younger bracket, first place went to Jordan Jeffers of Jameson Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Second place went to Aniea O'Neal of McGuire Gardens in Camden, New Jersey.
All finalists received a certificate of participation from Dr. Bruce Johnson of The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation, and a reference book of their choice. First place winners received $100 gift cards, and second place winners received $50 gift cards. First place winners will also have their names engraved on a plaque emblazoned with the names of all IRM/BT Spelling Bee winners for the past eight years. Following the event, everyone in attendance was treated to a complimentary luncheon.
Considering that each participant in IRM/BT Spelling Bee finals had already won a local spelling bee title, this truly was a celebratory day of champions.