FAIRBURY – This year’s Thayer County Spelling Bee Contest Winner will be taking home a $1,000 scholarship, versus the $500 scholarships offered in previous years. The generous donor is Byron native, Jennifer Reinke.
Reinke was born in November of 1952, and grew up in Byron, Hebron and Deshler Nebraska. At the age of 14, Reinke won the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. on June 8, 1967. Reinke won by correctly spelling “Chihuahua,” a breed of a dog.
An official of the contest stated that Reinke was the “most deserving person to win this contest because while she could have asked for the words use in a sentence, or country of origin, or other pronunciations, she never asked even one question.” She later went on the Ed Sullivan Show on June 11, 1967 where she was honored and celebrated for her win.
Information and photo contributed by Bob Reinke.