Second annual MOM Celebrity Spelling Bee set for Nov. 9th

Winners of the first MOM Celebrity Spelling Bee, First Merchants Bank, will be back to try to hang on to the traveling trophy. Photo providedWinners of the first MOM Celebrity Spelling Bee, First Merchants Bank, will be back to try to hang on to the traveling trophy. Photo provided

By: Michelle Kinsey

Muncie, IN —“Word” has it the MOM Celebrity Spelling Bee is back!

Yes, it’s true. The second annual MOM Celebrity Spelling Bee is set for Nov. 9 at Townsend Corporation, 1015 W. Jackson Street.

A pre-event reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the spelling will begin at 6.

Teams will be competing for the prestigious traveling Celebrity Spelling Bee trophy. First Merchants Bank won last year and will try to hold onto its title as the best spellers around.

It’s going to “bee” a great night and the public is invited to cheer on the teams and, most importantly, support MOM, which is celebrating 30 years of educating children and families.

“I can hardly ‘bee’ still,” said Monique Armstrong, Executive Director of MOM. “Our second annual spelling bee is an opportunity to celebrate the great work of our students while showcasing the tremendous support of our community.”

In addition to First Merchants, teams will include the City of Muncie, Ball State University, Mutual Bank and Ball State Federal Credit Union.

Leading the Ball State team will be BSU basketball legend Paris McCurdy (Sweet 16 team, 1990), who is now the Director of Community Diversity Initiatives for the Office of Institutional Diversity at the university.

“I attended the MOM Spelling Bee last year and thought it was a great, uplifting event,” McCurdy said. “It was an excellent way to support Motivate Our Minds. So when I was asked to be a part of this year, I didn’t hesitate.”

Other local celebs participating include BSU basketball superstar and current Central High School coach Chandler Thompson (Sweet 16 team, 1990); blues musician Governor Davis, and Mayor Dennis Tyler.

Master of Bee Ceremonies will be Dale Basham. Celebrity judges will be award-winning spellers Samantha Academia and Caleb Roberts. Academia won the first WIPB-TV Regional Spelling Bee in 2016 and Roberts was the champion this year. Both competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Perhaps the biggest celebrities will be the students from MOM! Members of the Super Spellers Club there will be a part of each team. The spelling club, created by WIPB-TV, helps students develop their spelling, vocabulary and public speaking skills.

A Super Spellers Club member will also serve as one of the judges for the bee.

The fun-filled evening will also include music, food provided by Vera Mae’s, Wick’s pies for dessert and a cash bar.

The bee is made possible with help from Karen Wenger, First Merchants Bank, Navient, Stefan & Joan Anderson Fund, Carmichael Funeral Service, Ball State University, Meridian Health Services, Muncie Power Products, Doug & Kathy White, Amanda Kishel, Mutal Bank, AEP – Indiana Michigan Power, Cornelius & Mary Dollison and Family Vision Care.

This event is also made possible with generous support from Townsend Corporation, Vera Mae’s Bistro, Wick’s Pies, Awards Plus and Sight & Sound Productions.


For tickets or more information, go to or call (765) 289-1990