2015 Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee Winners

A Wild and Wacky Event for a Great Cause

Kalamazoo Public Library hosts the Great Grown-up Spelling Bee to benefit Ready to Read, our early childhood literacy program. The 15th Annual Great Grown-up Spelling Bee, held Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at Western Michigan University’s Bernhard Center, was another “wildly” successful event!

Video captured and produced by Public Media Network (PMN)

We raised more than $20,000 again this year, and 100% of the proceeds will be used to purchase books for Kalamazoo County children. Fourteen wonderfully creative, enthusiastic and entertaining community teams competed for this year’s spelling and team spirit awards. Or heartfelt thanks goes out to our sponsors and everyone else who makes this event possible.

Congratulations to the 2015 Winners!


Winning Spellers:

  • First Place: Breakfast Optimist Club
  • Second Place: Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Third Place: Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics


Breakfast Optimist Club spellers Julie Howes and Jeanette Meyer
Photo: John Lacko

Team Spirit Awards:

  • People’s Choice: Friendship Village
  • Most Creative Cheer: Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Best Costumes: The Ladies Library Association
  • Most Enthusiastic Team: Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics


KPL Cheerleaders: Catherine Lewis, Kirsten Baldwin-Wilson, Terry New, Angelina Rodriguez, and Thom Andrews
Photo: John Lacko

Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee 2015

See more 2015 Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee photos on KPL's Flickr photostream
Photos by John Lacko

Watch the Bee on Public Media Network TV or Online! 

Watch the full broadcast on the PMN website »

TV Broadcast Schedule: Channel 187 (Charter) Channel 99 (U-Verse)

  • Saturday, November 21, 1 pm
  • Wednesday, November 25, 9 am
  • Thursday, November 26, 2 am
  • Friday, November 27, 9 pm
  • Saturday, November 28, 1 pm
  • Wednesday, December 2, 9 am
  • Thursday, December 3, 2 am
  • Friday, December 4, 9 pm
  • Saturday, December 5, 1 pm
  • Wednesday, December 9, 9 am
  • Thursday, December 10, 2 am
  • Friday, December 11, 9 pm
  • Saturday, December 12, 1 pm

2015 Teams & Spellers

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of Michigan

Spellers: Elizabeth Clark, Honore Lee

Borgess-Richland: Sponsored by Suburban Mechanical Company

Spellers: Jennifer Barlow, Carrie Lauer

Breakfast Optimist Club

Spellers: Julie Howes, Jeanette Meyer

Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics

Spellers: Dr. Lisa Nagler, Sofia Darling

Friendship Village

Spellers: Jeff Hagan, Ann Bensinger

Kalamazoo Public Library: Sponsored by Special Agent Jeff Lee

Spellers: Bill Caskey, Elyse Malnekoff

KRESA: Sponsored by Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library

Spellers: Tiffany Irvine, Camille Walker

PNC Grow Up Great

Spellers: Missy Noel, Ben Boggs

Psi Iota Xi Pixies

Spellers: Kristin Hammond, Brenda Orwig


Public Media Network

Spellers: Katie Thompson, Jake Andrews

Seeds of Success: Sponsored by The Dunns

Spellers: Sarah Drumm, Patrick Conley

Spelling Baes

Spellers: Tricia Henry, Caroline Johnson

The Ladies Library Association: Sponsored by Mary Doud & Marge Kars

Spellers: Judi Sabo, Paula Jamison

The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo

Spellers: Sharon Bronsink, Jared Volz

Twenty Hands: Sponsored by The Kalamazoo Sunrise Rotary

Spellers: Rachael LaClear, Lindsey LaClear


Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics Cheerleaders
Photo: John Lacko

The Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee Features

  • Teams of eight adults: two courageous spellers and six outrageous cheerleaders
  • Spellers compete together in two 60-second rounds of fast paced spelling
  • Cheerleaders perform one 2-3 minute cheer in Round One
  • Prizes are awarded for best spelling, best costumes, most enthusiastic, most creative cheers and audience favorite
  • Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar
  • Event recorded by Public Media Network TV and broadcast on subsequent dates

Become a Spelling Bee Sponsor!

Join the Fun! Sponsor the Spelling Bee with a donation of any amount.

Sponsor the Bee at the Bronze $500 level or higher and you may opt to send a team to the Bee! Can't send a team? Choose to have the library recruit a non-profit team to compete on your behalf. Learn more

Previous Winners & Spellers »

Each year, the Great Grown-up Spelling Bee raises more than $20,000 to buy books for Kalamazoo County children! See the winning teams and sponsors from past Bees; view and download photos and video from past events. Learn more...