Librarian McKinley wins RVNA Spelling Bee

Nearly two hours and hundreds of syllables later, the winner was ... the librarian in Round 16 with 'Elysium.'

Brenda McKinley, new director of the Ridgefield Library, won the 2017 RVNA Spelling Bee with a seven-letter word from classical mythology, E-L-Y-S-I-U-M, capping an evening of laughter, fun and no shortage of intellectual acuity.

From "aplomb" and "scrumptiously" to "ague" and "nasturtium," spelling bee contenders, their lifelines and the audience went round for round in the closely contested battle of words and strategy.

Extraordinary thanks goes to each of the 13 contestants, Ridgefield's Brightest, who embraced the annual tradition, put their brains and humor to the test, and braved the stage for the greater good: RVNA Nursing Education.

The event raised over $15,000 through ticket sales and donations as well as event sponsorships.

"We are so grateful to our very intrepid and intelligent contestants, their valuable lifelines and loyal friends, our remarkable moderator and honorable judges and our event sponsors, all of whose support and enthusiasm for this event is invaluable to our Nursing Education program, and gives us all something to look forward to through the cold of the New England winter," said Theresa Santoro, RVNA President and CEO.