Spell of good luck aids winning bee team in Everett library benefit

  • Mon Oct 11th, 2010 9:57pm
  • News

By Debra Smith Herald Writer

EVERETT — The winning word was “juncaceae.”

When Kinuko Noborikawa heard that word, she couldn’t believe it.

She and her team, the Communities of Color Coalition, won the Everett Public Library’s first adult spelling bee Friday night by spelling the word correctly. The word refers to rush plants.

Although Noborikawa is an accomplished speller, she also had a little luck.

“I’m like, he couldn’t have said the word ‘juncaceae,’” she said. “I’m a wetlands biologist and that’s a family of plants I work with nearly every day.”

The event raised nearly $11,000 for teen and children rooms at the downtown library, said Eileen Simmons, library director.

The money will go toward stations in the children’s room that will help little ones learn their numbers and letters. The teens will get extra books. There may be enough left over to buy furniture that will allow part of the room to function as a meeting space for groups.

Construction is expected to begin early next year.

Noborikawa and her teammates, Therese Quinn and Anne Lambert, won trophies, a bookworm bag stuffed with goodies and a mystery box filled with fun stuff from the Seattle novelty company Archie McPhee, including action figures of Alexander the Great and the composer Richard Wagner. They each kept a few things and donated the rest to Whittier Elementary in Everett.

Simmons said the library hopes to do it again next year.

“I kind of feel like we hit a 10,” she said. “There are things we’ll do differently but everybody said they had a great time and they hope we’ll do it again.”

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or dsmith@heraldnet.com.