Sharpen your spelling skills, Moabites! Moab’s BEACON Afterschool program is hosting an Adult Spelling Bee on March 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Grand Center, as a fundraiser to support after-school clubs and activities for Moab students.

BEACON Afterschool organizes dozens of enrichment clubs and academic tutoring sessions for Grand County School District students. Kids can choose from various themes such as science, jewelry-making, or taiko drumming—and they can participate at no cost. The program relies on funding from state and federal grants, the school district, and community support.

BEACON hosted a community dodgeball tournament fundraiser for several years, where teams were encouraged to create fun uniforms or costumes. The tournament was popular with participants, but BEACON Executive Director Xandra Odland said it didn’t reach as much of the community as the organization wanted to reach—dodgeball is not an appealing activity to everyone. 

A spelling bee is accessible to a wider demographic and is also a better fit for BEACON’s capacity to put together an event—so instead of dodgeball this year, grown-ups are invited to flex their spelling muscles. Funds will go towards club supplies and equipment and BEACON field trips.

Teams of three or four people can register for $50, and spectators are welcome for a $5 entry fee at the door. The bee is open to high schoolers as well as adults. Words will be drawn from the official Scripps Spelling Bee lists, and for each round, groups will get a chance to confer before presenting their answer on a whiteboard. Middle school BEACON students will come to each team and spell-check the words.

“No one will need to get up on stage and spell a word solo,” Odland assured.

Teams can purchase up to three “Spell Agains,” allowing players another shot if they biff a spelling on the first try—but redos won’t be allowed in the final round! There will be concessions and prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

For those who lack confidence in spelling but want to join the fun and support BEACON, there will also be prizes for other categories, such as best costume, funniest misspelling and sportsmanship. Bring a spirit of fun—and, per a reminder in the event list of rules and regulations:

“Remember, it’s a fundraiser and it’s for children.”

Free childcare for school-aged children, led by BEACON staff, will be available in another room at the Grand Center, to make it easier for caregivers to participate in the bee.

Learn about other BEACON community events and find the link to register for the spelling bee at