March 5, 2016. Louisville, KY. – Third time was a charm for 10-year-old Tara Singh of Louisville as she won the 23rd annual Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee today. Singh, who was competing for the third year in a row, correctly spelled “Eponym” – (of a person) giving their name to something. The competition was held in the Bomhard Theatre at the Kentucky Center for the Arts (501 W. Main Street in Louisville). Amber Voigtschild of Lawrence County, Indiana, was runner-up in the competition among students from Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Singh represents Jefferson County Private Schools and is a 6th grade student at Louisville Classical Academy. She was runner-up in 2015 and also participated in the event in 2014. 61 students from 59 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana participated in today’s Spelling Bee, going through 158 words, 5 full rounds and 1 championship round.
“The words were hard and I was nervous,” said Singh. “I did not expect to win this year. It’s really an honor to compete with everyone.” The Derby Festival’s Spelling Bee is a favorite event for the Singh family. Tara and her father would come to watch the competition as spectators, even before she was eligible to participate.
For today’s win, Singh received the John & Joan Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund, a $10,000 savings bond at maturity from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, the Derby Festival’s charitable arm. She also received a Britannica online subscription gift certificate, Blue orange games: Speedeebee, an Amazon.com gift card and a trophy. Singh will also have the opportunity to ride the Winner’s Float in the 61st annual Republic Bank Pegasus Parade on May 5th.
Amber Voightschild received the Barbara Cox Memorial Scholarship, a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond for finishing runner-up in the 23rd annual competition. Connor Wade of Pulaski County, finished third, winning a $3,000 savings bond. Maia Kuehne-Seeber, of Jefferson County Catholic Schools finished fourth and received a $1,500 savings bond. Charley Miller of Spencer County finished fifth, winning a $1,000 savings bond. The prize money is provided by the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation – the Derby Festival’s charitable arm.
The Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee is sponsored by Ford Motor Company, with Media Sponsors Kentucky Monthly and 840WHAS
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.