On Sept. 26, community members throughout Northern Virginia will gather together for one day of educational fun, thanks to the annual Senior Spelling Bee, started by NoVA resident Toni Reinhardt. This year’s funds will go toward Insight Memory Care Center’s program, Dementia Friendly Herndon.
Dementia Friendly Herndon was established in 2016 as the first Virginia-based branch of the national organization, Dementia Friendly America, which seeks to provide support for those living with dementia and their caregivers.
While the event first began as a recreational activity for seniors living in community centers to participate in, it is now a full-fledged, annual fundraiser. This year’s event will be held at retirement community Hunters Woods at Trails Edge in Reston, where seniors will compete in a comfortable and social atmosphere for the chance to win a special prize that has yet to be announced. Plus, food and door prizes will be served to all attendees, regardless if they are participating or not.
Prior to the competition, each participant will be supplied with a practice spelling bee list, tips for how to properly prepare and the option to volunteer to help groups run trial spell-offs events. Then on the day of, organizations across Northern Virginia can choose two participants over the age of 65 to be the team leaders and compete.
For those who want to come out and watch, be sure to represent your given team with T-shirts, signs and noisemakers to add to the already supportive community event.
“It gives people a chance to gather together and stretch their brain cells,” says Reinhardt. “And some people who are good spellers, even if they have early onset dementia, they retain that ability and it’s fascinating.”
If you are interested in registering for or becoming a sponsor at this unique fundraising event, click here. // Hunters Woods at Trails Edge: 2222 Colts Neck Road, Reston; donations encouraged