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2nd Annual Adult Spelling Bee

By April 26, 2024April 29th, 2024Fundraising, Spelling Bee

Local Nonprofit Book Drive for Kids Raises $35,000 From 2nd Annual Adult Spelling Bee

By Steve Gamel

Book Drive for Kids’ signature Adult Spelling Bee event is here to stay. If last year’s inaugural event wasn’t convincing enough for you, this year’s follow-up on April 5 surely sealed the deal after raising a staggering $35,000 – an increase of nearly 152% from last year’s total – to support future book fairs and other initiatives aimed at furthering the nonprofit’s mission of getting books into the hearts and homes of needy children.

This year’s event was held at Circle R Ranch in Flower Mound to account for more teams and a lighthearted audience of 200 people. Mayor Derek France was the emcee, and eight teams battled it out for the top prize. Independent Financial was recognized with the Circle of Commitment award because of their on-going support since the first Denton county free book fairs in 2018.

“We are overwhelmed and grateful for the tremendous support from our hometown supporters – not only for the monetary gifts but for the enthusiasm and encouragement we have received to keep working to get good books into the hearts and homes of the next generation,” Book Drive for Kids executive director Michelle Cook said. “With the continual population growth in Denton County, the need to support low-income families and the educators who serve them is on the rise. We definitely need volunteers.”

Book Drive for Kids has donated over 175,000 books to nearly 100,000 students at roughly 100 events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Thanks to active volunteers and support, donations, grants from countless individuals and entities, and the annual spelling bee, their reach extends to places like Austin, Houston, and South Texas.

Who Won the Adult Spelling Bee?

This year’s event pitted eight sponsored teams of three against each other for the championship and other top honors. There were two flights, with the winning team from each flight squaring off in the title round later that evening, and three judges (Glenda Simons, Ross Powell, and Savanna Powell) to ensure every word was pronounced and spelled correctly. 

When the dust settled, The Word Smiffs (Jonathan Munoz, Chelsea Mooneyhan, and Marco Rodriguez, Sr.) pulled out the victory – avenging a tough first-round exit in last year’s event.

Team sponsors included Puro Clean of Flower Mound, BbK Services 556, the Cross Timbers Rotary (two teams), ResponsiveEd (two teams), Independent Financial, and Mantiki Solutions. In addition to sponsoring spelling bee teams, the Cross Timbers Rotary helped process book donations after the event.

“The Adult Spelling Bee is just good, family-friendly fun to support a good cause,” Marco Rodriguez, Sr. said. “This is a fun time all around for friends, family, and competitors. We enjoyed watching the other teams play and act the part of their team name and costumes, and it was a sweet redemption for us. … We would have had fun whether we won or not, but winning is a lot of fun. We will be competing again next year.”

He added, “Come out and cheer on a team, spell, and support Book Drive for Kids.”

Look Out for Information on Next Year’s Bee!

If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year’s Adult Spelling Bee, the good news is that there is always next year. As usual, the stakes next year will be higher, the laughs will be side-splitting, and the opportunity to get more books into kids’ hands in Denton County and beyond will be plentiful. 

Visit for more information, including ways to donate, volunteer, or participate in next year’s adult spelling bee.