NOTE: While new carpeting is being installed at the Oshtemo Branch Library, access to some materials may be unavailable. Thank you for your patience.

2018 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 18th Annual Great Grown-up Spelling Bee, held Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at Western Michigan University’s Bernhard Center, was another “wildly” successful event!

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

Congratulations to the 2018 Winners!


Winning Spellers:

  • First Place: Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Second Place: Sister Shakespeare
  • Third Place: Breakfast Optimist Club


Kalamazoo Public Library Team
KPL photo

Team Spirit Awards:

  • People’s Choice: Portage District Library
  • Most Creative Cheer: Sister Shakespeare
  • Best Costumes: Breakfast Optimist Club
  • Most Enthusiastic Team: Kalamazoo Public Library

Watch the Bee on Public Media Network TV or Online! 

Streaming Online

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

  • (Broadcast schedule coming soon)

Teams, Spellers and Sponsors


Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics

  • Spellers:
  • Dr. Lia Gaggino
  • LaShanda Irving

Borgess Promed of Richland

  • Spellers:
  • Jennifer Barlow
  • Natalie Warren

Kalamazoo Public Library

  • Spellers:
  • Andrea Vernola
  • Milan Hardin
  • Sponsor:
  • Jeff Lee, Special Agent,
  • spelling-bee-graphic-100.jpg
  • Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo

  • Spellers:
  • Julie Howes
  • Jeanette Meyer

Portage District Library

  • Spellers:
  • Andrea Smalley
  • Abigail Pylar
  • Sponsor:
  • River Run Press

Child Care Resources

  • Spellers:
  • Gail Lager
  • Ivana Garcia
  • Sponsor:
  • Omega Computer Services

Sister Shakespeare WMU English Department

  • Spellers:
  • Grace Tiffany
  • Beth Bradburn

Kalamazoo RESA Early Childhood

  • Spellers:
  • Saraj Drumm
  • Bianca Essix
  • Sponsor:
  • The Kalamazoo Sunrise Rotary

Trestlewood Pediatrics / Portage Lion's Club

  • Spellers:
  • Laura Berry
  • Jarrod Permenter