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AARP National Spelling Bee Offers Two-Day Mental Fitness Challenge

Annual Competition Attracts Spellers Age 50+ from Across America

KANSAS CITY, MO – If you still remember that word you missed in the 6th grade spelling bee, AARP offers a shot at redemption: The AARP National Spelling Bee will be held Aug. 10-11, 2012 at Little America Hotel and Resort in Cheyenne, Wyo. Spellers must be at least 50 years old on the day of the bee in order to compete. Registration is open at through Aug. 6.

“A group of AARP members created the AARP National Spelling Bee 17 years ago as a fun way to challenge their peers,” AARP Wyoming Director Tim Summers said. “Some spellers call themselves ‘word nerds’ and others say they come just to meet other like-minded people.”

The two-day mental fitness challenge kicks off with a workshop from noon to 3:30 pm Friday, Aug. 10, called “Gray Matters: Training the Grownup Brain,” allowing participants to ask brain health questions of a neurologist, gerontologist, nutritionist and exercise physiologist. The official competition begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, with a 100-word written spelling test, which narrows the field to the top 15 spellers who compete in the oral spelling rounds that afternoon. Spellers may miss two words in the finals before being eliminated from the competition.

Registration costs $40 before Aug. 6 and $50 on the day of the bee, and includes lunch. The Gray Matters workshop is free to competitors and the general public.

Sponsors include Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, Inc., Bananagrams, Visit Cheyenne, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power.

Registration and study information including the official rules, sample word list and contest details can be found at or by calling AARP Wyoming at 1-866-663-3290.