Traverse City Record-Eagle


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Charlie Donahue opens a gift bag given to him as his classmates gather Friday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School prior to Donahue leaving to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The gift bag contained cards of encouragement written by his classmates, a jump rope (a reference to the movie, "Akeelah and the Bee," in which the film's main character uses a jump rope to help her spell words) and money which was raised by the purchase of Charlie Donahue-themed pins that were sold and the students could also wear jeans and hats for the day, instead of uniforms, by paying one dollar. Friday was designated as "Charlie Day." Students also applauded and chanted "Charlie" during the sendoff. "This was just incredible," Donahue said at his locker prior to leaving school.