|The young guy in the middle eagerly consults with his seniors.|
|Table awaits the beginning of competition.|
|My buddies Luanne Traud Rife, Christina Koomen and Richard Rife work on a word.|
|This kid wanted to spell in French. She's 4 months.|
|Young woman reads the rules.|
|Referee Russ Merritt, in his Sandy Koufax jersey, explains how it works.|
The money will go toward literacy programs through BRL, which used to be Literacy Volunteers of the Roanoke Valley. The name reflects an expanded geographic coverage area. Gina French of BRL says that estimates of illiteracy in the region range as high as 25 percent, meaning these people can't read a newspaper or fill out a job application. The group has been around a long time, but not as long as bad spelling--which it made a righteous effort to correct tonight.