Sponsor (noun): 1. A person or organization that provides funds for a project or activity carried out by another.
That noun is what organizers of the Twin Cities regional qualifiers for the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee are looking for – otherwise there will be no Minneapolis-St. Paul representation at next year's national finals.
The event was previously sponsored by Augsburg College, but organizers told BringMeTheNews the college is not continuing the sponsorship this year – and no replacement has stepped forward.
If a sponsor (or sponsors) willing to put up $5,000 isn't found by the end of December, then the March regional finals won't be going ahead.
"A sponsor is a business, community organization, college or university willing to organize and pay for a spelling bee program open to all schools in the designated area and to send the area's champion to the Scripps National Spelling Bee," organizers said in a press release.
"If no regional sponsor comes forward, the students who could possibly have an opportunity to go to the National Spelling Bee would instead be watching the event on ESPN from the sidelines," it adds.
Children hoping to reach the national finals must first win local spelling bees, before taking a computerized spelling test to qualify for the regional bees, which they then must win to make the national bee.