Local state representatives crown winner of spelling bee for seniors

CICERO – A local state legislator recently welcomed a new colleague by co-hosting an event for senior citizens.

State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-24th District, of Cicero partnered with state Rep. Silvana Tabares, D-21st District, of Chicago to hold a spelling bee for seniors May 13. Tabares was sworn into office in January. Her district covers the Brighton Park and Little Village neighborhoods in Chicago as well as Lyons, Stickney and Summit.

"There were seven people who participated in the spelling bee, and 54 people attended the event," said Alaina Hampton, a legislative aide for Tabares. "It was just a friendly competition for seniors. It was a way for them to meet and become friends with other seniors."

The spelling bee was held at Piotowski Park Gym, 4247 W. 31st St. in Chicago. The winner of the event was Jose Reymundo, a writer who attended the event with his mother, Maria Reymundo. He will advance to the statewide spelling bee hosted by the Illinois General Assembly later this summer.

Christian Lopez, one of Hernandez's assistants, said Hernandez normally holds this event on her own. This year, she decided to invite Tabares to co-host the spelling bee, Lopez said.

"The spelling bee this year was conducted in English," Lopez said. "We're thinking that next year it may be conducted in Spanish."