March 12, 2014. Louisville, KY.   – Students from around Kentucky and Southern Indiana will compete in the 21st annual Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 15.  The competition starts at 11 a.m. and will be hosted at a new location this year, in the Ballroom of the Kosair Shrine Club at Spalding University (812 South 2nd Street in Louisville). 65 students representing 62 counties will compete on Saturday.  They qualified by winning their respective school and county bees.

“Congratulations to all the participants of this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee. From our recent announcement of an educational partnership with JCPS to our continued support of local charities, Ford Motor Company is committed to the local community and especially our local students,” said Kimberly Hofmann, Ford Zone Manager for the Cincinnati region.

The overall champion of this year’s Spelling Bee will receive the John & Joan Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund, a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond at maturity.  The next four top finishers will also receive savings bonds – $5,000 for second place, $3,000 for third, $1,500 for fourth and $1,000 for fifth. The prize money will be provided by the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation – the Derby Festival’s charitable arm.

“Good spelling is sometimes taken for granted,” said Mike Berry, KDF President and CEO.  “We’re pleased to offer an event that recognizes such outstanding young students.  The competition is always a nail-biter right up to the final word.”

In addition to a $10,000 saving bond, the overall Spelling Bee champion will receive a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Hasbro Scrabble game, an Amazon.com gift card and a trophy. The winner will also have the opportunity to ride the Winner’s Float in the 59th annual Republic Bank Pegasus Parade on May 1.

The Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee is sponsored by Ford Motor Company, with contributing sponsors Kentucky Monthly and 84WHAS.

June 21 - June 21