The school's signature fundraising event draws large crowd
A buzz could be heard ’round Chattanooga on March 10 as Girls Preparatory School hosted its annual fundraiser, Bruiser Bee, at The Westin Chattanooga. The sold-out event featured an adult team spelling bee along with live and silent auctions plus a DJ-fueled Survive the Hive afterparty, complete with a tater tot bar and sponsored by Mtn. View Auto Group.
More than 20 teams of three took the stage to claim the title of Chattanooga’s best spellers. But they didn’t take it too seriously. With names such as the Lookout Lexicographers, Buzz Kill, Girls Gone Grad, Spell on Wheels, and Community Spellebrities and some decked out in costumes, the teams embraced the spirit of the evening and were there for fun and philanthropy as well as the competition. Team Damn Yankees even flew in from the east coast to participate.
By the end of the spelling bee, I BEE Shrunk, a team sponsored by Newnan Psychological Services that entered at the last minute and didn’t misspell a single word, took home the winning trophy. I BEE Shrunk team members Tony Johnson, Becca Stimson, and Rick Rivera set the bar very high for next year’s Bruiser Bee on March 9, 2019. GPS parents Amy and Ted Arrowsmith served as co-chairs; Ted was also on a spelling team, BeeONCe, with fellow Tennessee Oncologist partners Brooke Daniel and Mike Stipanov.
Generous Bruiser Bee sponsors helped defray the cost of the event. Major sponsors included Mountain View Auto Group and First Tennessee, which sponsored the VIP Experience. Those with VIP tickets received a piece of Prentice Hicks hand-blown artisan glassware and enjoyed an open bar. Returning to emcee the evening’s activities was local talk show host Alison Lebovitz, and Tommy Thatcher served as auctioneer. Jenny Johnston added her special touch to the floral arrangements.
Bruiser Bee participants also bid on a number of great auction items, including tickets to a Taylor Swift concert in Atlanta, a hunting trip, a Nashville dining excursion, and even a black Labrador puppy named Bruiser. All proceeds from the event help make a GPS education accessible to more girls. Currently, GPS girls come from 33 zip codes and 40 percent receive some form of financial assistance.