For nine years, participants in GHCC’s Scrabble® Fundraiser for Literacy have gathered in the spirit of fun and games to support a good cause — fighting adult illiteracy in Baltimore City. This year marks the event’s tenth anniversary and with an estimated 100 players planning to attend, promises to be the best one yet with live music, a silent auction, food, beer, wine, and fun.
Over the years, the Scrabble® Fundraiser for Literacy has been attended by a wide range of Scrabble® lovers and even reunited friends and neighbors who had no idea of each other’s dedication to GHCC’s Adult Literacy & ESOL Program. GHCC recently caught up with veteran player and former literacy tutor Nancy Spritz, who fondly remembers the Scrabble® parties of years past and also talks a bit about why she continues to support the work we do.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Adult Literacy & ESOL Program.
I became an Adult Literacy volunteer tutor several years ago and continued for a few years. Unfortunately, I had to stop volunteering, but I have remained very supportive of GHCC.
You’ve participated in the Annual Scrabble® Fundraiser for Literacy since it started in 2002 (only missing two years!). What keeps you coming back each year?
I love Scrabble and I love reading, so I feel strongly about developing literacy for adult learners—what a perfect combination and what a great way to raise money for a worthwhile cause! So much better than going to a fancy charity dinner!
What was the most inspirational moment in all your years of participating in this event?
Seeing so many people—more and more each year—dedicated to this cause, doing something intellectual, and having a great time, too. And the competitive Scrabble players are also awesome and inspirational—I can’t get close to their level!
What is your favorite memory from past years of the Scrabble® Fundraiser?
I won the 50/50 raffle two years in a row! Also, my 87 year old mother came with me for several years, and my son joined me a few times too.
What would you say to anyone considering attending the event as a player/participant?
You don’t have to be a good or even regular Scrabble player; there are all levels of players and everyone there will be patient and kind about your abilities. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, do something different and educational, and in the process you’ll support a meaningful, worthwhile, important organization that makes Baltimore City a better place!
As the first participant to register for the Scrabble® Party, what do you look forward to with this year’s anniversary celebration?
More and more interesting people, good food, stimulating wordplay, and neat prizes. I always look forward to seeing the people that I met in the first few years, like the sweet little ladies from the Liberty Road Senior Center who can beat the pants off me!
Our goal this year is to raise $10,000 in support of the Literacy Program. What would you say to encourage anyone considering a donation or sponsorship?
You will be contributing to a hands-on organization which helps individuals directly and substantially, and you can be assured that your limited charitable dollars will be doing the greatest good.
Hope to see you there!
Come and play on Saturday, March 26 at Calvert School’s atrium. We’ll host informal pickup games from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and two competitive formal rounds for prizes. Tickets are $50 per player ($40 for students or 62+). All proceeds support GHCC’s Adult Literacy & ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Program.