“I don’t practice; I just come out and do it,” said Harris, who has been spelling for years. “I wanted to win big, but if I didn’t, that would be fine too.”
This is the fourth year Harris has participated and placed in Life Care’s contest, but the first that he has won first place.
“It was wonderful to see Jim finally achieve the grand prize,” said Rob Alderman, Life Care’s director of public relations, who emceed the spelling bee. “He’s a brilliant man, and I count myself blessed to have spent this time with him.”
The second-place trophy was awarded to Virginia Benson from Life Care Center of East Ridge. Frances Carringer of Life Care Center of Cleveland won third place, and James Green of Life Care Center of Red Bank won fourth. All four received trophies.
Thirteen contestants participated this year, spelling a variety of words, from “abdominal” to “specimen.” They represented not only the Cleveland, Red Bank and East Ridge Life Care facilities, but also those from Missionary Ridge and Collegedale. Spellers’ efforts were met with applause from an audience of fellow residents, facility caregivers and corporate associates.
“This event is so fun that everyone is truly a winner,” said Alderman.