During the event, three-person teams compete with other teams to correctly spell a word. Each team has a scribe who writes the spelling of the word on a whiteboard and shows it to the judges and the audience.
“Lawyers compete with the school board; radio personalities compete against bankers. Everyone dresses in crazy costumes. It’s a blast,” said board member Valerie Brown.
As the spelling rounds progress and some teams are eliminated, the level of difficulty increases until only two teams remain for the final spell-off.
Prizes are awarded to the winning team of spellers and also to the team judged to have the best costumes. Spectators and participants are eligible to win a wide array of door prizes that are donated by local businesses.
The team entry fee is $180 and registration will be ongoing until Monday, Feb. 24, organizers said. Word study lists and event details will be sent to each team member after registration.
The admission fee for spectators is $5.
The Grand County Education Foundation first brought the adult spelling bee to Moab in 2011. It is one of the group’s signature fundraisers, designed to highlight the educational mission of the foundation, which has the mission to “support and enhance the education of children in Grand County,” according to a news release.
The foundation raises funds through grant writing, leveraging funds from individuals and organizations and a variety of events. To date the foundation has been able to help in disbursement of more than $70,000, foundation board members said in the news release.
“The foundation is making a difference in the lives of Moab’s children,” said foundation chairwoman Danette Johnson.
The foundation has funded projects that help provide early interventions for young learners, fund salaries for art and music teachers, purchase licenses for online math and reading programs, help the GCHS marching band, swim team and the mountain bike club purchase uniforms, and assist students travel to New Orleans for a middle school Quiz Bowl, to Boston for a fifth-grade educational trip and other field trips.
To become a team sponsor or to put together a team, call Valerie Brown at 435-260-2808, Melodie McCandless at 435-259-9797, email email@example.com, or go online to grandcef.org.