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Prize Ceremony

[photo of Cappelletto receiving check] The prize ceremony was a lot of fun. After the players had milled back into the room, people lined up at the podium and took their turn announcing upcoming events. Though I can't remember them all, the last announcement came from Lisa Kessler (ON), reminding us of the 1998 Michael Wise Memorial SCRABBLE® Tournament (Toronto's 19th annual event) to be held September 12-13, 1998.

After this, an energetic Joel Sherman (our current World SCRABBLE® champ), took the stage and announced the JOEL/WISE prizewinners.

John D. Williams Jr. started the official ceremony promising that, as in years past, "it would be as chaotic as always." He thanked all the workers, paying particular attention to Laura Klein, Director of Operations, who was given a huge round of applause for her efforts. John went on to thank Hasbro for sponsoring the largest SCRABBLE® tournament in history.

Following this, the division leaders took turns announcing senior awards, class prizes, low wins, etc. Mark Morris then took the stage to announce the special Hasbro prize. It was awarded to Bob Prentiss (division 1), who managed to play the word MENORAHS, which included all but one of the letters from the word Hasbro. Bob won $1,000 for this play.

Then, with great efficiency, after Laura Klein read off the top 5 winners from each division, John D. Williams Jr. and Mark Morris congratulated them with a handshake, presented them with a certificate and the top 3 finishers with a Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition, and posed for a photograph.

Although they are listed elsewhere on the site, the winners of each division were:

In addition to the certificate and dictionary, these top winners received trophies from Tiffany's. The ones presented to division 2-4 winners were lead crystal, oval, 4 1/2 inches high, and on the slant-cut top etched with both the NSC logo and mention of their division first prize. Brian Cappelletto's trophy was a sterling silver Revere bowl engraved with the NSC logo and first place.

After Brian's name was called out as the tournament's top winner, he walked to the podium from the back of the room to a thunderous standing ovation. After posing for pictures, he gave a short speech in which, in addition to thanking the National SCRABBLE® Association and Hasbro, he thanked his girlfriend, Myna Wallin (ON).

As people began to mill out, Myna excitedly told me that she and Brian were being flown to New York to stay in the Essex Hotel so that Brian would be ready to appear on the TODAY show early Monday morning. She said, "I've heard about the Essex on television because that's where celebrities are often put up!"

Todd Rosenberg <toddrphoto@aol.com> was the professional photographer hired by the NSA to cover the event. Though we can't be sure where the photos ran yet, a few of the event photos were accepted by AP to run in newspapers nationwide.

This site will soon contain a list of the many prizes given in each division.

-- Sherrie Saint John, Internet Report, NSC98


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