The Moab Adult Spelling Bee includes a costume contest. The second annual Spelling Bee costume winners was the D.D. Top Team from Eastern Utah Community Credit Union. From left to right: Nicole Bierschied, Ken Bischoff, and Maria Shupe. [Courtesy photo]

The Grand County Education Foundation (GCEF) is encouraging Moab grown-ups to compete in a spelling bee to benefit Moab schoolchildren.

The third annual Moab Adult Spelling Bee will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 at Star Hall.

This is not your traditional spelling bee where one takes the mic to spell a word alone. This is a team sport. Each three-person team is given a word. Together, the team can debate and determine the correct spelling and display it on a whiteboard to show it to the spelling bee judges and audience.

Teams are also encouraged to come with team names and dress in costume.

“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.

Rounds progress through different levels of difficulty until two teams remain for the spell-off.

Prizes are awarded not only for the winning team of spellers, but also for the team having the best costumes. All spectators and participants are eligible for an array of door prizes.

Spectators can also expect a night of thought-provoking moments as teams try to spell the words.

“There are plenty of laughs,” Brown said.

Team Entry Fee is $180. Registration will be accepted until Monday, Feb. 24. Word study lists and event details will be sent to each team member after registration.

Spectator admission is $5.

The Grand County Education Foundation brought the adult spelling bee to Moab in 2011. It is a signature fundraiser that highlights the educational mission of the foundation. The sole purpose of the foundation is to support and enhance the education of children in Grand County. The Grand County Education Foundation raises funds through grant writing, leveraging funds from individuals and organizations and fund-raising events like this one.

To date the foundation has been able to help in disbursement of over $70,000.

“The foundation is making a difference in the lives of Moab’s children,” said Danette Johnson, the foundation’s chair.

The foundation was established in 2009 for the sole purpose to fund educational projects, activities and programs that benefit students in Grand County.

So far, the foundation has funded projects that help provide early intervention for Grand County’s youngest learners; fund salaries for art and music teachers; purchase licenses for online math and reading programs; help the high school’s marching band, swim team and the mountain bike club purchase uniforms; as well as assist students travel to places like New Orleans for a Middle School Quiz Bowl, fifth graders go to Boston, and other field trips to enhance the learning experience.

Three-person teams encouraged to register and study words

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27

Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.

Cost: $5

Three-person teams, costumes and team names encouraged

Fee: $180

Deadline: Monday, Feb. 24

To become a team sponsor or organize a team, call Valerie at 435-260-2808 or Melodie at 259-9797, email mel777@citlink.net or go online at grandcef.org.