Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

Orchard Place Rewrites Rules of Spelling Beez


DES MOINES, Iowa, (January 21, 2014) – Orchard Place, mental health experts for Iowa’s children, is currently accepting applications for teams to take part in Iowa’s wackiest and fun spelling bee. Participants and spectators are marking their calendars for the event, which will take place Thursday March 6th. This will be the 11th time Orchard Place will host the event as spellerz and onlookers will swarm Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust Street in Des Moines from 5:30 – 8:30 for the one of the zaniest fundraisers ever conceived. Prizes are awarded even if participants can’t spell!

“Community and corporate support for Orchard Place through fun events like our Spelling Bee benefits all involved,” said Orchard Place CEO Anne Starr. “The fact that this has continued to grow and be supported for 11 years speaks for itself.”

The Orchard Place Spelling Bee is a one of a kind event where you can literally pay for your mistakes, bribe judges, and win for most creative team name, best team costumes, best team cheering section, and most bribe money raised. Competition is both fierce and farce. All proceeds from the event benefit the children and programs of Orchard Place.

Teams generally register early, but there still are a few slots available. “Unless you’ve witnessed the event, it’s hard to describe how much fun everyone has,” said Orchard Place Director of Annual Giving and Events Mandy Schwartz. “Perhaps the names of last year’s winning teams will provide some indication: “The OlymBEEinans, BFF’s and The Scooby Doo-BEEs who arrived in their specially designed Mystery Machine.”

Nationwide Insurance is again sponsoring this event which has raised more than $750,000 since its inception.

“Come ready to have fun and bring your sense of humor and leave spellcheck at home,” adds Schwartz. “This event truly puts the FUN in FUNDRAISER.”

For more information on the 2014 Spelling Bee or to register a team, contact Mandy Schwartz at

About Orchard Place:

Orchard Place is the oldest locally-based charity in Des Moines providing mental health treatment and expertise for Iowa’s kids. Our inpatient, outpatient and community program serves nearly 8,000 children from birth to age 22. Four operating divisions work under the Orchard Place umbrella of services: Child Guidance Center, Orchard Place Campus, PACE Juvenile Center and Care Coordination Services. More information can be found at