OnPoint Community Credit Union Celebrity Spelling Bee Raises $235,00

The OnPoint Community Credit Union Celebrity Spelling Bee Raises $235,000 for Schoolhouse Supplies

John Erickson named Portland’s Celebrity Champion Speller

PORTLAND, Ore., February 2, 2015 — The OnPoint Community Credit Union Celebrity Spelling Bee, held Thursday, January 29 raised $235,000 in vital funding for Schoolhouse Supplies, the Portland nonprofit that supports public education by giving students and teachers free classroom supplies. A crowd of nearly 400 guests gathered at the Portland Art Museum to watch two-time Champ, Zia McCabe defend her title against local celebrities such as Portland Public Schools alum, Project Runway Season 11 Winner, Michelle Lesniak and former Portland Trail Blazer, Jerome Kersey, among other Portland celebrities who all competed in a traditional spelling bee.

“We are thrilled that the Celebrity Spelling Bee raised $235,000 for the Free Store for Teachers,” said OnPoint Community Credit Union President and CEO Rob Stuart. “Thanks to the generous participation of Portland’s business community and event attendees – thousands of local students will have the school supplies needed to succeed in class.” In addition to the Celebrity Spelling Bee, OnPoint has supported Schoolhouse Supplies for several years as a sponsor of the annual KGW School Supply Drive.

“This event kicked off our 15th year of providing supplies to our teachers and students. We were honored to welcome so many guests who have been with us since the very beginning as well as several new business and individuals that help us to make a tangible impact in classrooms throughout Portland every day,” said Interim Executive Director of Schoolhouse Supplies, Hollis Bredeweg.

After five rounds of challenging words such as ‘undulate’ and ‘ecclesiastic,’ K103fm Producer and Radio Host, John Erickson knocked out both reigning champ, Zia McCabe and finally Commissioner Nick Fish, spelling ‘perinephrium’ for the win! Erickson proudly takes home the six-foot-tall Celebrity Spelling Bee trophy that he had sought four times prior.

Ryan Saari, Founder, Oregon Public House
Tyler Gaston, Partner, Olympic Provisions
B. Frayn Masters, Host/Producer, Back Fence PDX
Michelle Lesniak, Winner, Season 11, Project Runway
Lois Leveen, Novelist, Author Juliet’s Nurse
Margaret Selier, Editor, Portland Monthly Magazine
Jerome Kersey, Former NBA Player, Portland Trail Blazers
Zia McCabe, Musician, Dandy Warhols
Nick Fish, Commissioner, City of Portland

Mary McDonald-Lewis, respected dialect coach, actor and director, moderated the event with 2012 Spelling Bee Winner, and local actor/musician Pat Janowski, while NewsChannel 8 TV Personality, Drew Carney and Timber’s Mascot, Timber Joey, judged the competition.

Guests participated in a silent auction, “Lunch Lady Special” grab bags with one lucky winner awarded a framed Nicolas Batum jersey, and the Restaurant Raffle (12 $100 gift certificates to area restaurants) while enjoying performances from the Lincoln High School Jazz Ensemble, with Madison High School Drum Line closing the night. – MORE

Sponsors included: OnPoint Community Credit Union, Comcast Cable, The Fred Meyer Fund, PEMCO Insurance, New Seasons Market, KGW NewsChannel 8, K103fm, Portland Monthly Magazine and Washman Autospa.


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Schoolhouse Supplies is an award-winning nonprofit that supports public education in Portland by giving students and teachers free classroom supplies. Our mission to “serve classrooms in need by operating a volunteer-run free store for teachers, which is stocked with supplies donated by the community,” is based on the belief that every child deserves school supplies and has the right to a quality education.

OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving more than 276,000 members and with assets of $3.6 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 13 Oregon (Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark). More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.



Media Contact
Cheryl Larson

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