Friday, June 4, 2010

The Northwest Suburbs of Chicago are HOT!

Adrian Gunawan, of Arlington Heights, is a finalist in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Picture from

The Keith Sluga Family of Arlington Heights tossed out the first pitch at Wrigley Field this year, which was especially significant as this is Year One of the Ricketts' ownership of the Cubs.
Michael Ventrella from Bartlett became half the man he used to be to win The Biggest Loser. Then Lee DeWyze, from Mt. Prospect sang his way into America's hearts to become the newest American Idol winner. On the same day, Jonathan Spector, from Arlington Heights, was named to the USA World Cup Team. Olympian Evan Lysacek from Naperville came took second on Dancing With the Stars. Yes, April and May were big months for the Northwest Chicago Suburbs.

Of course, we can't forget that Glee was created by Ian Brennan, an alum of Prospect High School and formerly of Mt. Prospect. Academy Award Winner Marlee Matlin is an alum of my alma mater, John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. Brian McBride, of the Chicago Fire, hails from Arlington Heights and graduated from Buffalo Grove High School (and shares a birthday week with me). I could go on, but I won't.

Who's the newest celebrity to come out of the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago (namely Arlington Heights)?

Adrian Gunawan is a finalist in the Scripps National Spelling Bee! Adrian is an 8th grader at South Middle School in Arlington Heights and secured his place in the finals by correctly spelling "villicus." For those of you unfamiliar with "villicus," it's a Latin word meaning "pertaining to an estate, overseer, steward." Look it up if you don't believe me.

Anyway, it's pretty cool that Adrian is in the Championship Finals. It's in Washington DC and will be televised on ABC tonight. Ya, I'm a geek and I'll be watching. Because although I don't understand hockey, I do understand spelling.

There must be something in the water here that we keep producing all these super cool people who achieve so much.

All this brings back memories of my own spelling bee days at Thomas Junior High (also in Arlington Heights). Somehow I made it to the round where the parents were invited to watch and I lost in the first round. My word was "beagle." Fortunately, today I have spell check.

Go Adrian!

Update 8:33pm: Adrian lost in Round 8, tying for 2nd place with 2 other contestants. Nice job Adrian! The 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion is Anamika Veeramani from North Royalton, OH. The winning word was "stromuhr" which measures the amount and speed of blood flowing through an artery. Yes, really.

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