More than 100 seniors prepare for first statewide Kupuna Spelling Bee

Hawaii Kupuna Spelling Bee Competition 2022
Hawaii Kupuna Spelling Bee Competition 2022(HNN)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:34 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s time for Hawaii’s kupuna to show off their spelling skills!

So far, more than 110 seniors have entered. Who will be Hawaii’s first Kupuna Spelling Bee champion?

Seniors 60 and older are vying for the grand prize — a free roundtrip anywhere on Alaska Air.

The preliminary round of the first statewide Kupuna Spelling Bee kicked off Friday.

About a dozen anxious kupuna at Kahala Nui Nursing Home took turns to see how many words they could spell correctly.

The last time 85-year-old contestant Nancy Van Allen was in a spelling bee was in the 8th grade.

“I said, why not?” said Van Allen. “I very seldom write a letter without a dictionary right by my side.”

The contest is a benefit for the Alzheimer’s association of Hawaii created by Iolani High School junior Riley Regan.

“I was the spelling bee champion at my elementary school,” said Regan. “And I feel like a spelling bee would further help on the seniors minds and keep them active, which is good to keep them healthy.”

Some contestants said it’s been a little nerve-wracking.

Regan said “any opportunity to keep the mind active is a good thing.”

In-person competitions are as follows:

  • Oahu: July 9 at 9 a.m. at Aliiolani Elementary School in Kaimuki
  • Hawaii Island: July 9 at 9 a.m. at the Hilo Elks Lodge
  • Maui: July 9 at 9 a.m. at Puunene School in Kahului
  • Kauai: July 17 at 2 p.m. at the Lihue Neighborhood Cente

A virtual event will take place at 9 a.m. on July 16.

The top two winners in each age category will advance to the statewide contest on Oahu on July 23.

The deadline to sign up is July 5.

Click here to register.

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