The theater of radio comes alive each year when KQAK-FM, KWPK-FM and KLTW-FM in Bend, Ore., broadcast the Regional Spelling Bee in its entirety. The stations began the annual event four years ago as part of their commitment to education. The broadcast is akin to a sporting event, complete with station talent as commentators and interviews with fans. Together with other local businesses, the stations provide the three best spellers with $1,000 college savings bonds. This past year, 57 students competed, representing three school districts. Promotional announcements air the week leading up to the competition on KQAK, KWPK, KLTW and two additional sister stations from Horizon Broadcasting Group. "I had a neighbor tell me her family started listening to it when they were in the car, and they ended up sitting in their driveway for more than an hour to see who won," said Keith Shipman, president of Horizon Broadcasting Group. "Those are the stories that really make it worth it." The stations air the broadcast the day after the spelling bee so the children can hear themselves on the radio.
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