Local spelling bee sponsor, WFCU Credit Union in Ontario, Canada, has taken extra steps to recognize its local champion. Giovanna Patcas won her final local spelling bee on March 8. She was runner-up in the same event in 2019. As a national finalist, the L.A. Desmarais Catholic Elementary School student expected to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but once the Bee canceled the event due to concerns and risks from the coronavirus and uncertainty about when public gatherings would be possible, her sponsor announced a special event to recognize her. WFCU hosted a virtual ceremony to present her with a $2,500 scholarship.
In the virtual media conference, Giovanna said, "“I’m just extremely grateful, I’m just really happy. I’m really appreciative of it and that the community decided to do this.”
In a statement, WFCU stated: "Giovanna has dedicated hundreds of hours in preparing for this national competition. Although she will not be able to experience Bee Week in Washington, WFCU Credit Union wants to recognize Giovanna and celebrate her achievements."
Congratulations, Giovanna, and thank you WFCU Credit Union for your commitment to your program and this special honor for your champion.