Northwood University’s Hospitality Management program hosted the 39th Annual Stafford Dinner on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in the Hach Student Life Center located on Northwood’s Michigan Campus. The event filled the venue with nearly 200 guests and helped to raise money for scholarships supporting the Hospitality Management program.
The “Winter in the Woods” theme welcomed alumni and guests alike to enjoy a completely student-run reception, dinner, silent auction, live entertainment and a student-arranged keynote speaker. The dinner event took 11 months to plan and can be credited to the 13-member executive board who were led by their advisors, Dr. Julie Tkach, Chef Taffy Cline and Christopher Wakeman.
Guests were dazzled by local painting and singing duo Empty Canvas. These twin brothers performed in such a way that immensely entertained the guests, singing well-known hits while also painting. The original art piece was successfully auctioned off at the end of the night by Jerry O’Donnell, the voice of Dow Diamond, who served as the guest auctioneer for the night.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Kathleen Vertin, a Northwood alumna and board of trustees member. She is the well-established founder and owner of The Snug Theatre which is located on the St. Clair River in Marine City. Vertin successfully works to combine business and the arts together while setting a wonderful example of maintaining personal relationships with guests.
The Northwood University Hospitality students were excited to participate in such a noteworthy event. The Stafford Dinner continues to serve a vital role in these students’ education and practical experience.