AARP Calls for Illinois Spellers Age 50+ To Register for Its 16th Annual National Spelling Bee

Mar 24, 2011, 12:14 ET from AARP Illinois

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP today announced a national call for entries for its 16th annual National Spelling Bee which will be held in Cheyenne, Wyo., June 17-18, 2011 at the Little America Hotel and Resort. Open to anyone age 50 or older, the AARP National Spelling Bee attracts spellers from all over the U.S. who compete for more than $5,000 in gifts and prizes. Online registration will be open at through June 16th.  In a recent survey, AARP members said that staying sharp mentally is extremely important to discovering the best of what's next in their lives.

"The AARP National Spelling Bee is a great way for adults to put their skills to the test in a fun, competitive environment," said Tim Summers, AARP Wyoming Director. "With adults from all over the country converging in Wyoming for the competition, the bee proves to be a hit with contestants year after year.  We are pleased to host this contest for the 50+ crowd to really test themselves."

The AARP National Spelling Bee consists of two rounds of competition, beginning with a 100-word written spelling test in the morning, narrowing the field to the top 15 spellers who go on to compete in the oral spelling rounds. Spellers are allowed to miss two words in the oral rounds before being knocked out of the competition. The first place speller will receive $5,000, second place will receive $500 and third place will receive a $250 prize. The top three finishers will also receive free AARP memberships.

A "pre-Bee" workshop will be offered to all contestants and the general public on Friday, June 17. The free workshop, "Gray Matters: Training the Grownup Brain," will feature interactive sessions that will explain the impact of diet, fitness, and relationships on brain health and answer your questions.

Registration for the 2011 AARP National Spelling Bee is available via and 1-877-926-8300. Pre-event registration is $40 for spellers and remains open through June 16th; walk-in registration costs $50.

Sponsors of the 2011 AARP National Spelling Bee include: Visit Cheyenne; Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power; and AARP Wyoming.

The AARP National Spelling Bee was created in 1996 by a group of AARP members in Cheyenne, Wyo., who wanted a fun way to challenge their peers to keep their minds sharp as they age. The competition has been held every year since, and always in Cheyenne. A group of dedicated volunteers select the words, write the sentences, organize, and promote the event. Spellers travel from across America to showcase a lifetime of knowledge and to celebrate their years of experience.

A complete schedule for the two days, sample word lists, contest details and official rules, can be found at or by calling the AARP office in Wyoming at 1-866-633-3290.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.