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Monday October 20th 2014

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Scrabble Soiree to Benefit Adult Literacy

By James Hagan

Scrabble junkies, or those just into having a good time for charity, are eagerly brushing up on their vocabulary lessons in anticipation of Learn to Read of Northwest Florida’s “Scrabble Soiree” charity event to benefit adult literacy.

The team event will see tables of up to seven people engage in a rather unique game of Scrabble. Instead of competing against the other people at the table, the teams will work together in putting together the highest possible scoring words on the board over the course of two timed rounds with the winning team receiving a prize package donated from local businesses.

The rules of the event are, shall we say, open to interpretation as tables will be able to buy extra tiles and are encouraged to bribe the judges to allow words that are either nonsensical, arcane or completely made up. So, if you ever wanted the use the word “flibbertigibbet” in a board game, this is the event for you.

The proceeds of the event will be used to continue the fight against the high illiteracy rate in Northwest Florida.

“We’re hoping that the general public understands the critical need our community has for our services. There are over 43,000 adults in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties who cannot read above a third grade level,” said Manette Magera, Learn to Read’s Executive Director.  “This makes for a big drain on our social services. Once we help this population, they become productive community members.”

The event organizers are hoping that the Scrabble theme will attract people used to playing word games on applications on their phones and not face-to-face with other people.

“The excitement for this year’s event seems to be fueled by the growing popularity of the recent Words With Friends craze,” said Brittney Goodman, co-chair of the event.

The event will feature musical entertainment as well as complimentary wine, beer, hors d’oeuvres, coffee and desserts.

There are 35 tables for the event. Pre-registering for the event is encouraged, and individuals who are not part of a team will be assigned to a table.

Learn to Read is an all-volunteer non-profit adult literacy program which has been in operation since 1984. The organization is entirely self-funded via grants, donations, and charitable events like the Scrabble Soiree.

“This is a wonderful way for friends to get together in a fun atmosphere to help a great cause … fighting adult illiteracy,” said Sophia Young, co-chair of the event.

SCRABBLE SOIREE: LETTERS FOR LITERACY
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, August 23
WHERE: Cathedral of Sacred Heart Parish Hall, 1212 E. Moreno St.
COST: $35 for individual tickets, $200 for teams of up to seven players
DETAILS: To register visit learntoreadnwf.com or call 850-432-4347