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Students putting final touches on Stafford Dinner

February 6, 2023

Northwood University students are meticulously and enthusiastically planning to take community members on a magical journey into a delicious wonderland that will be the 48th annual Stafford Dinner.

This year’s event, “Stafford in Wonderland,” will feature several courses of gourmet food and a memorable show performed by comedy magician Cameron Zvara on Feb. 18 at the Great Hall Banquet & Convention Center. Patrons are invited (but not required) to come in colorful cocktail apparel to celebrate the Wonderland theme.

Co-Chair Natalie Preston explained the Stafford Dinner is a yearly student-led event held in memory of William D. Stafford, who began the Hotel, Restaurant & Resort Management Department at Northwood University. 

“Since the inauguration of Stafford Dinner, countless individuals have gained real-life experiences through the planning and execution of the event,” added Preston, a Northwood student from Milford.

Students have had opportunities to learn about event planning, food preparation, service, entertainment, etc. And many have had the benefit of receiving the Stafford Dinner scholarship to continue their educational pursuit of working in the hospitality industry.

“For me, Stafford Dinner offers opportunities,” added Preston. “It has helped me get experiences in event planning and logistics while also allowing me to better my future through scholarships.”

Co-Chair Kylee King, of Kalamazoo, says that by participating in Stafford Dinner, she has learned how to manage her time effectively, while leading a group of peers and meeting deadlines.

“Most importantly, it has given me hands-on experience in the hospitality industry,” King added.

Co-Chair Kameron Haag, of Clare, also is thankful for the knowledge she has gained from planning this year’s Stafford Dinner. Like her fellow co-chairs, she can’t wait for the community to experience Stafford in Wonderland.

All proceeds from this year’s dinner, silent auction, and further contributions will go directly into the Stafford Dinner Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to multiple students the night of the feast.

To purchase tickets, visit www.northwood.edu/stafford.

For more information, contact Nicholas Hamilton at or (989) 837-4844.

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