Literacy for Life’s 4th Annual Grate Groan-Up Spelling Bee










Literacy for Life’s Grate Groan-Up Spelling Bee is a fun filled and exciting afternoon, as teams of three people compete in a battle for bragging rights to spelling supremacy and to win the coveted BEE Trophy. We are excited to announce that Dave Poulsen, author, rodeo announcer and retired rodeo clown has agreed to be the Honorary Chair and John Barlow will be back as our MC.

Not only are the teams battling for spelling supremacy they are in a competition to see which team can raise the most pledges to support literacy and learning in the  Foothills. The three teams that raise the GRATEST Pledge amounts will receive a prize for their fantastic work.

All proceeds from the Bee go towards supporting Literacy for Life Foundation’s literacy programs in the Foothills.

We are looking for teams NOW to be part of this exciting event. Limited space! Call 403.652.5090 or email at or go to for 2016 forms. All teams will have a fundraising page available at this site.

Lots of exciting things are happening PRE-BEE! Watch for the 2016 raffle on sale soon and the opportunity to buy a BEE in the month of June at High River Sobeys, Okotoks Sobeys and Country Food Mart AG Foods in Black Diamond.


Event Information:

What: 4th Annual Grate Groan-Up Spelling Bee

Where: Wales Theatre, High River, Alberta

When: Saturday October 1st, 2016 12:30 PM doors open 1:30PM Bee starts

Why: Making a difference in people’s lives. Building skills and literacy across all ages.

Contact: Sue or Roxanne tel: 403.652.5090,

David PoulsenBiography of Honorary Chair:

Dave Poulsen

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, rodeo announcer, teacher, football coach, stage and film actor and—most of all—writer. His writing career began in earnest when his story The Welcomin’ won the 1984 Alberta Culture Short Story Competition. Now the author of more than 25 books, many for middle readers and young adults, David recently made his inaugural foray into the world of crime fiction with the novel, Serpents Rising, the first book in the Cullen and Cobb Mystery series. The second book in the series, Dead Air, will be arriving in bookstores in January of 2017. And later this year, David’s newest teen novel, And Then the Sky Exploded will be in book stores and in libraries. A UBC Creative Writing alumnus, David lives with his wife Barb on a small ranch in the Porcupine Hills west of Claresholm (updated April 16)

12087665_1280259875333400_4512216490579052436_oBiography of Master of Ceremony

John Barlow

John Barlow was elected to represent the riding of Macleod in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2014 by-election. Previous to that he was with the Okotoks Western Wheel for 17 years and left his position as Publisher Editor to become the MP for Macleod Riding. John was an amazing and GRATE Master of Ceremony for our inaugural bee in 2013 as well as the 2014 Bee. He is a strong supporter of all things community. He is married to Louise Barlow and they have three children (Graeden, Kinley and McKenna). Quote from John, ” As a journalist who has been involved in the publishing industry for more than 20 years promoting literacy in our communities is a passion which is why I have joined the Okotoks Library Board and why I am excited to support Literacy for Life and its various programs including the Spelling Bee. It is important children, teenagers and adults alike have the opportunity to enjoy the drama, adventure and emotions reading can provide. Promoting literacy is an essential key to opening the door to what can be a life-long love of reading.”

Vice – Chair of Natural Resources Committee

Official Opposition Deputy Critic of Employment, Workforce and Labour

Editor’s Note: Black Diamond and Turner Valley need some teams!!!

Spelling Bee Sponsors