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Students putting final touches on Feb. 24 Stafford Dinner

February 15, 2024

Northwood University students are eager to take community members on a wild ride to a western saloon that will be the 49th Stafford Dinner.

“Stafford Dinner is an annual event that is run 100% by students,” explained Delanie Lucas, a marketing student from Fenton who is serving as the registration chair for this year’s Stafford Dinner. “The dinner raises funds for student scholarships while also paying tribute to William D. Stafford, the founder of our hospitality department.”

This year’s event, “Stafford Saloon,” will feature multiple courses of traditional grub and a memorable show performed by Two Girls in Boots on Feb. 24 at Holiday Inn located at 810 Cinema Drive in Midland. Cowboys and cowgirls are welcome to wear muted colors, cowboy hats, and cowboy boots while they enjoy the saloon’s shindig.

Through this year’s Stafford Dinner, students have grown a number of skills like event planning, food preparation, service, entertainment, etc. Many have had the benefit of receiving the Stafford Dinner scholarship to continue their educational pursuit of working in the hospitality industry.

“Our group of students has planned every single aspect of the dinner, from choosing a venue and theme down to the smallest details of each recipe and table design, all while fundraising and networking to get donations and sponsors,” noted Morgan Bryce, a hospitality management student from Birch Run and decorations chair for this year’s Stafford Dinner. “No matter the major, any Northwood student can gain experience by being part of the Stafford Dinner team, either through serving on the executive board or just volunteering the night of the dinner. I plan to work in event coordinating after graduation, so getting the opportunity to participate in this is something I am very thankful for.”

Emily Upton, a hospitality management student from Oxford, is thankful for the knowledge she has gained while being this years’ Stafford Dinner service chair.

“It has allowed me to be hands-on for the entire planning process,” Upton added. “Through this experience, I have learned so much that will help prepare me for my professional career. This opportunity has made me realize how much goes into the hospitality industry and how much it has to offer.”

All proceeds from this year’s dinner and silent auction will benefit the Stafford Dinner Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to multiple students the night of the dinner.

To purchase tickets, visit For more information, follow “nu_stafforddinner” on Instagram and “Stafford Dinner” on Facebook, and email Nicolas Tolliver at or Hailey Granata at .

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