Successful Scrabble Tournament – The Lima News

LIMA — The infectious sounds of laughter could be heard down the hallway and into the Edgewood Drive parking lot of Zion Lutheran Church Saturday morning.

The source of jubilation disturbing the otherwise lonely silence of a cold, windy February morning in Lima came from the Genesis Hall of the Zion Lutheran Church. It’s where teams of adults escaped the winter babble, if only for a few hours to play the classic game of Scrabble in a whole new way where teams frantically spelled words vying to brag about a great cause.

The public answered the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council’s call to participate in its 16th Annual Scrabble Word-Building for Literacy Fundraising Event on Saturday. People from all over crossed county lines for camaraderie, fun and most importantly, raising money for the adult literacy program.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Northwest Ohio Literacy Council executive director Ken Blanchard. “We have a lot of great gifts to give away between matches thanks to our sponsors. Honestly, everything we do supports the whole community where we teach adults to read. This program impacts more than the individual; it impacts the whole community. Literacy has implications for the workforce, health care and even the education of children. So it’s nice to see our sponsors and all these people coming out to support this event. This is the only time of the year when we ask for help from sponsors.

It is estimated that in the United States there are more than 30 million adults who cannot read, write, or do basic math beyond a third grade level. Regionally, one in six adults suffer from illiteracy and many will not seek help due to embarrassment.

“It’s not easy to show up and say, ‘I need help learning to read,'” Blanchard said. “We ask the community to be on the lookout and to be aware of people who need help. It doesn’t matter if it’s work, a family member, or a health issue, please help direct where help is needed.

For more information about the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council, call 419-223-0252 or visit online at

Findlay resident Eileen Vorst helps her sister Marianne Miller of Ottoville spell the word ‘guide’ for the duo’s last word during Saturday’s game of Scrabble.

OSU-Lima teacher Katie Barnes picks the winning 50/50 ticket as Northwest Ohio Literacy Council executive director Ken Blanchard prepares to call the winning number for half the $420 pot.

Volunteers help a group of participants identify a word in the final game on Saturday.

Follow Joe Gilroy on Twitter @TLNJoeGilroy

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