There's nothing flocculent about this team: Bee Happy Bus drivers Randy Jorgen (left) Kathleen Lawry and Patty Jones celebrated their win during last year’s Moab Adult Spelling Bee contest. [Courtesy photo]

Flocculent means “like tufts of wool; downy; or loosely massed.” That’s the word that decided last year’s outcome of the Moab Adult Spelling Bee when the winning team’s opponent misspelled it.

Almost one year later, Randy Jorgen is busy, studying word lists gleaned from the Internet in preparation for this year’s adult spelling bee, which will be held on Friday, Feb. 19, at the Bar-M Chuckwagon, 7000 N. U.S. Highway 191.

Jorgen was a member of last year’s winning team, the Bee-Happy Bus drivers, along with Patty Jones and Kathleen Lawry. They represent the Grand County School District Transportation Department. Jones is the transportation department’s director, Jorgen is a school bus driver, and Lawry is the wife of former bus driver and Canyonlands Jeep Adventures co-owner Steve Lawry, who sponsored the team.

“All the smart kids rub off on us bus drivers,” Jorgen said. “We’ll be back to defend our title.”

As of last week, 10 teams had registered for the spelling bee. Teams of three have until Monday, Feb. 15, to sign up for the event. Cost is $180 per team, and registration proceeds benefit the Grand County Education Foundation. The spelling bee is open to anyone 15 and older.

Both local businesses and individuals financially support the teams. So far this year, sponsoring businesses include Utah State University-Moab, Canyonlands Jeep Adventures, Classic Lifeguard, Central Utah Insurance, Moab Realty, Moab Regional Hospital, Moab Grill, City Market and the Grand County School District.

During the competition, the teams huddle together with a white board to figure out the correct spelling of a word. Once team members agree on the spelling – and they have 60 seconds to do so – the white board is shown to the judges. Audience members can spell along with contestants, using pens and notebooks provided by the Moab Mailing Center.

All contestants are encouraged to come in costume. There are prizes for both best costume and spelling bee winner. Last year’s costume winner was the Moab Realty Cow-bees.

Last year’s event raised approximately $2,500, according to Grand County Education Foundation board co-chair Melodie McCandless.

The education foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009, whose mission is to seek out funding to support activities and programs offered to Grand County students to strengthen their academic, social, emotional and physical well-being, she said.

The foundation supports both academic and athletic programs; arts and music; major school or classroom projects; recruits volunteers to assist children; offers teacher recognition; supports school libraries; and provides scholarships.

The cost to watch the spelling event is $10 for adults, and $5 for students. The admission fee includes appetizers and the chance to win door prizes. Beer and soda will also be available for purchase.

Jorgen said it ends up being a fun, light-hearted night for everyone.

“Come out and support your schools and have a good time,” he said.

Moab Adult Spelling Bee is back on Feb. 19

“Come out and support your schools and have a good time.”

When: Friday, Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Bar-M Chuckwagon, 7000 N. U.S. Highway 191

Cost: $10 per adult; $5 per student

Information: 435-259-9797; 435-260-2808;

To learn more about the Grand County Education Foundation, visit: