Organizers of an inaugural statewide Kupuna Spelling Bee invited Hawaii residents 60 years and older to register to participate in one of many spelling bee events that were held in June and July 2022. The top two winners from each preliminary competition advanced to compete for prizes in the 2022 Statewide Kupuna Spelling Bee on Saturday, July 23, 2022 on Oahu.
The purpose of the inaugural statewide Kupuna Spelling Bee was to encourage older men and women (60 years and older) to stay mentally sharp by learning and practicing the use and spelling of words and to help strengthen memory. Research shows that those who view themselves as “lifelong learners” often have a cognitive edge.
The inaugural statewide competition was organized by Riley Regan, 16, a junior at ‘Iolani School. A spelling bee winner when he was in the 5th grade at Pu’u Kukui Elementary School on Maui, the Eagle Scout thought it would be fun to coordinate such a competition and to help raises funds for the Alzheimer’s Association, in conjunction with “The Longest Day” event.
Having an extremely close bond with his grandparents, Riley is deeply interested in issues facing older adults. Besides coordinating a variety show (click here to visit channel) dedicated to Hawaii’s kupuna on the 3rd Sunday of each month, Riley plans to continue serving the community through the Alzheimer’s Association and other nonprofits, and hopes to eventually pursue geriatrics as a profession.
Mahalo to everyone that participated, volunteered, and supported the Kupuna Spelling Bee! We commend all of the participants for doing an incredible job! Congratulations to the Kupuna Spelling Bee Finals Champion, Erika Engle! We thank our presenting sponsor, Alaska Airlines, for the generous support. We are also grateful to the California Hotel & Casino for their support and the countless other local businesses that generously donated. We look forward to seeing you all next year! Mahalo!