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Local News

RHS Class of 1972 Donates $1,200 to Russell County Historical Society

Historical Society Check Presentation 2-10-18The Russell High School class of 1972 recently donated $1,200 to the Russell County Historical Society in honor and remembrance of Robert Walters.

According to a statement from the class, they continue to celebrate the success of their classmate Walters and the 50th anniversary of his National Spelling Bee title.

A few weeks after graduating from Ruppenthal Middle School, Walters won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on June 6, 1968. He and his mother, Clarice, traveled to Washington, D.C. for the event.

Walters' win and celebration was subdued, because the last two days of the competition, June 5 and 6, Robert F. Kennedy was shot and died. Planned tours to the White House and other historical sites were canceled. The event was held at the historic Mayflower Hotel, just a few blocks from the White House.

During the fall 2017 Homecoming celebration in Russell, Walters' class held a reunion and had a commemorative limestone marker placed in front of the Fossil Station Museum in Russell in recognition of the 50th anniversary of his National Spelling Bee championship.

Due to the overwhelming support from his classmates, in addition to the stone, the RHS class of 1972 has donated $1,200 to the historical society to help expand exhibits.

The class has also decided to donate the documentaries Spellbound and Best of the National Spelling Bee and the movie Akeelah and the Bee to RMS and Bickerdyke Elementary School to inspire future spellers. The teachers may use them in class and the students will be able to check them out from the library.

The Russell Public Library will receive the documentary and movie also, so the public can check them out and learn about the Bee.

Walters passed away on February 9, 2018 after a battle against cancer.

(Information courtesy RHS class of 1972. Photo: Russell County Historical Society President Kay Homewood, Society Treasurer Aldean Banker, Society Vice President Ryan Becker, and from the RHS class of 1972, Bob Voos, Bryan Dinkel and Doug Pellant.)

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