The Twentynine Palms Kiwanis Club organized this year’s Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy Spell-A-Thon Saturday, March 9, at the Helen Gray Education Center in Joshua  Tree. Above, the winning team, from left, David Norton, Cathy Itnyre and Colin MacLaughlin, wait for their next word.  The winning word, rescissory, means having the power to revoke.

JOSHUA TREE — A change of name proved to be the charm for the former Languorous Ladies of Copper Mountain College, with one new member and the new moniker, the Lascivious Lads of Copper Mountain College won this year’s Adult Literacy Spell-A-Thon.

The college team, with Cathy Itnyre, David Norton and Colin MacLaughlin took top honors after spelling gnomon and rescissory correctly during the final round of competition held Saturday, March 9, in the Helen Gray Education Center on the Hi-Desert Medical Center campus.

In winning, they outlasted 13 other three-person teams who gathered from across the Morongo Basin to raise money, with pledges and team entry fees, to support the Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy’s mission to provide one-on-one tutoring to adults in need of help improving their literacy skills.

Second-place honors went to the Silky Spellbinders, a team making its first appearance at this year’s spell-a-thon and featuring Sue Kelly, Tami Roleff and Mary Kay Nicola.

Frequent champs the Letterhead Shrikes, with Joe Zarki, Marilyn Lutz and Katie Sosayachanh, came in third.

As of Saturday, the spell-a-thon, organized on behalf of the coalition by the Twentynine Palms Kiwanis Club, had raised some $3,000 in pledges, entry fees and drawing ticket sales.

More pledge money was expected to come in over the next few weeks, organizer Jennifer Salciccioli reported.

“It was quite a success,” she said later.

“We had a lot of nice contributions from the community and local artists. We look forward to doing it for many more years.”

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