Chimply marvelous: Monkey recovering after broken leg, thanks to Bronson orthopedics

Binder Park Zoo

After observing that Kanzu, a resident red-capped mangabey female monkey, was not using her left leg, Binder Park Zoo’s veterinary staff took X-rays and diagnosed that she fractured her left femur. The zoo then called Bronson HealthCare Midwest for help.

Battle Creek, Mich. — You may call it bananas or attribute it to monkey business:  A Binder Park Zoo monkey was recently monkeying around and broke its leg.

After observing that the resident red-capped mangabey female monkey named Kanzu was not using her left leg, Binder Park Zoo’s veterinary staff took X-rays and diagnosed that she fractured her left femur. They also determined that the rare 7-year-old monkey needed surgery to repair her broken leg.

Orthopedic surgeon Kalamazoo

From left, orthopedic surgeons Drs. Josh Ellwitz and Amy Woznick of Bronson HealthCare Midwest review the monkey’s X-rays.

So, the zoo reached out to Bronson HealthCare Midwest for help. Two of Bronson’s orthopedic surgeons, Drs. Amy Woznick and Josh Ellwitz, “graciously agreed” to repair Kanzu’s broken leg, according to the zoo. The orthopedic team coordinated donations from Synthes Corporation and Stryker Corporation to accomplish a common goal: to help Kanzu recover back to her healthy, charismatic self. Woznick and Ellwitz repaired the broken femur with a metal plate and screws to help return Kanzu to normal use of her limb as quickly as possible.

orthopedic surgeon kalamazoo

Drs. Amy Woznick and Josh Ellwitz, orthopedic surgeons at Bronson HealthCare Midwest in Kalamazoo, “graciously agreed” to repair Kanzu’s broken leg, according to the zoo.

“It’s not uncommon for animals to sustain an injury that requires surgery,” Binder Park Zoo staff veterinarian Dr. Judilee Marrow said. “We work to ensure the safety of animals in our care, but animals that are very active, like primates, sometimes injure themselves.

“Kanzu did very well during the procedure and we will continue to keep a close watch over her during her recovery,” Marrow continued.

orthopedic surgeon kalamazoo

“Kanzu did very well during the procedure and we will continue to keep a close watch over her during her recovery,” Binder Park Zoo staff veterinarian Dr. Judilee Marrow said.

Red-capped mangabeys are a very charismatic primate species from Central Africa. They are threatened due to over-hunting by local peoples who use the animals to feed their families. This species is rare in captivity; less than 30 animals are managed through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, through which Binder Park Zoo participates and contributes to the management of this species. Throughout the summer it’s not uncommon to find the zoo’s red-capped mangabeys very actively scampering and climbing about in their exhibit space.

Come and check out Binder Park Zoo’s red-capped mangabeys and more when the zoo opens for the season on April 22!

What else is there to see and do in greater Kalamazoo? Click for a list of Kalamazoo events!

My first Quote-Along movie at Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo

Kayla Kiley

From left, Kayla Kiley and Emily Lindberg, both of Kalamazoo, act out a “whodunit” scene with props before attending the quote-along movie Clue at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Kalamazoo. Photo credit: Yelp Kalamazoo.

Kayla Kiley

You can find Kayla Kiley wrapping up in the unparalleled beauty of Michigan summers, grooving to local live music, sipping on the inventive craft-beer scene, joining foodie tours, oil painting, ballroom dancing, and simply exploring the world around her.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — Love to quote movies? Then a quote-along movie is just the ticket for you!

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Kalamazoo offers quote-alongs! Yes, you can unite with your fellow quoters!

Haven’t seen the movie? That’s OK! I saw the movie Clue for the first time at the quote along!

THE QUOTING:
Every now and then during the movie, you’ll see subtitles pop up. Similar to karaoke, the color of the text changes to match the speed in which the character is speaking. At the Clue quote-along, there were a few times in which the whole audience was wrapped up in super-fast monologues — that sure tested my speed-reading and usually got everyone laughing. The subtitles also popped up for random phrases here and there.

YOU GET PROPS:
Alamo gave us a little bell and flashlight, and every time a character rang the doorbell in the movie, we rang our bell! Note: there was a “countdown bell” in the corner of the screen to help us out. And the flashlight? Any time a character was searching in a dark room, we assisted by shining our lights on the screen.

We also had one of those confetti poppers that you usually get on New Year’s Eve to “fire” off anytime somebody shot a gun. A little gun icon also appeared in the corner of the screen, which featured a countdown to help prep us to “shoot.”

Plus, we got some cards from the Clue boardgame, too!

alamo drafthouse kalamazoo

These Clue board game cards were among the many fun items that were given to Clue quote-along goers at Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo. Photo credit: Yelp Kalamazoo.

FOOD & DRINKS:
Alamo Drafthouse pulled out all the stops — it even invented a special cocktail for the movie: The Mrs. Peacocktail. I’m a sucker for a good pun… and a good drink!

Alamo also features a full menu for brunch, lunch and dinner. Order everything from pizzas and wraps to hamburgers (veggie burgers for me) to warm cookies, shakes and hot teas. And, of course, their draft list is fantastic with 20 Michigan craft beers (32 beers total) — and you can even order a beer-shake!

Note: Alamo recommends showing up 30 minutes before your movie to find your seats, explore the extensive menu (while the lights are up) and enjoy the custom pre-show.

CONNECTING THE AUDIENCE:
Usually when I’m at the movies, it’s more of a shared experience with the person(s) I’m with. However, this quote-along was so interactive that it united the whole audience together — we were quoting, shining our flashlights and firing “guns” all together. The best part was laughing together — whether it’s because we couldn’t read the speedy monologues fast enough or someone fired their “gun” way too late. I just felt incredibly connected to this group of people I didn’t know nor had really met.

alamo drafthouse kalamazoo

The audience at the quote-along movie Clue had lots of fun together as they quoted, rang bells, shined flashlights and “shot guns” together. Photo credit: Yelp Kalamazoo.

OTHER UNIQUE ALAMO EXPERIENCES:
I will definitely go to another quote-along! (Zoolander, anyone?) And I’m also eying Alamo’s sing-alongs, such as “The Sound of Music” and dance parties like, “Totally 80s Sing-Along Dance Party” and the “Michael Jackson Sing-Along Dance Party!” Eeeeep!

Beyond all the quirky fun, Alamo also features first-run, classic, cult-classic and independent films. There are even throw-back and Saturday-morning cartoons and films shown just for new parents (who are invited to bring their baby to the theatre)!

Plus, if there’s a movie you’ve been dying to see once again on the big screen, simply request it — Alamo takes suggestions and could make your wishes come true!

alamo drafthouse kalamazoo

Alamo Drafthouse is a 10-screen movie theater, located in downtown Kalamazoo at 180 Portage St. Locals love it for its many movie options — independent and cult-classics to cartoons and first-run films — and you can get a beer and dinner while enjoying your movie.

Click here to learn more about the Alamo Drafthouse experience!

Click to find more fun things to do in Kalamazoo!

Kalamazoo Living History Show brings thousands: War re-enactors, Native American performances, craft demos, more

kalamazoo living history

The 39th Annual Kalamazoo Living History Show takes place March 15 and 16 this year.

Kayla Kiley

You can find Kayla Kiley wrapping up in the unparalleled beauty of Michigan summers, grooving to local live music, sipping on the inventive craft-beer scene, joining foodie tours, oil painting, ballroom dancing, and simply exploring the world around her.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — Abe Lincoln and Robert E. Lee in Kalamazoo?

That could happen this weekend!

On March 15 and 16, the Kalamazoo County Expo Center is once again hosting the Kalamazoo Living History Show.

This 39th annual show brings more than 10,000 re-enactors to Kalamazoo. There will be re-enactors from the French and Indian War through the Civil War, along with the 270 of the finest craftspeople, dealers and history buffs from across the U.S. Other highlights include children’s activities, Native American dancing and singing, and many artisans who will demonstrate their crafts.

The fun happens 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $7 for a one-day pass and $10 for weekend pass; children younger than 12 are free.

Kalamazoo Living History Show

Experience thousands of war re-enactors from the French and Indian War through the Civil War, along with the finest craftsmen, dealers and history buffs from across the nation at the 39th Annual Kalamazoo Living History Show March 15 and 16.

Click here for more fun things to do in Kalamazoo!

Laugh with Kalamazoo’s improv comedy group

comedy kalamazoo

Improve comedy group Crawlspace Eviction is performing two weekend shows this month: March 14 & 15 and March 21 & 22.

Kayla Kiley

You can find Kayla Kiley wrapping up in the unparalleled beauty of Michigan summers, grooving to local live music, sipping on the inventive craft-beer scene, joining foodie tours, oil painting, ballroom dancing, and simply exploring the world around her.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — Got jokes?

Crawlspace Eviction sure does — in fact, this group specializes in making you laugh.

What’s not to love?

I’ve seen Kalamazoo’s improve comedy group Crawlspace Eviction perform a few times, and I’m always in awe of their creativity and hilarity. Not to mention, it’s a pretty cheap laugh — the shows are only $7 for students or $10 for adults.

Since we’re all probably suffering from cabin fever by now, it’s about time we get out and get laughing. Lucky for us, Crawlspace Eviction is offering two weekend shows this month. Shows are at 9 p.m. (doors 8:30 p.m.) at Farmers Alley Theatre in downtown Kalamazoo.

kalamazoo comedy

Popular improv comedy duo “t&a” performs at Farmers Alley Theatre March 14 and 15.

SHOWS:
• March 14 & 15: Everyone’s favorite improv duo with the dirty name is back. That’s right, t&a returns to the stage for two nights of fast-paced, character driven improv comedy. Adam Carter and Tara Sytsma make up this twosome, and you won’t believe the level of talent they have between them.

March 21 & 22: Be amazed, as Crawlspace Eviction presents “Cirque de Light Savings,” a high-flying, death-defying improv comedy show that welcomes an extra hour of daylight to this cold, gray winter. Cast includes: the bearded man Bannon Backhus, verbal acrobat Brian Duguay, world’s tallest little person Brian Lam, Siamese spouses Dann & Tara Sytsma, and joke juggler Jessica Vitkin.

Plus, you can enjoy a beer and snacks before the shows and during intermission!

Click here for a list of more things to do in Kalamazoo!

Best Pizza in Greater Kalamazoo

best pizza kalamazoo

“#Glutenfree #pizza from #Erbellis. Yum! #getinmybelly #Michigan #puremichigan” – @emmayoungdale on Instagram

Kayla Kiley

You can find Kayla Kiley wrapping up in the unparalleled beauty of Michigan summers, grooving to local live music, sipping on the inventive craft-beer scene, joining foodie tours, oil painting, ballroom dancing, and simply exploring the world around her.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — If you’re like me, you’re in a very committed relationship with pizza.

In fact, I love it with every pizza my heart. ;)

But with more than 450 Kalamazoo County restaurants to choose from — many of which serve pizza — how do you know which place offers the best pie?

That’s why we turned to our friends on social media! Our Facebook fans and Twitter and Instagram followers recommended their favorite saucy hot spots — some even suggested what to order while you’re there:

Erbelli’s (9 votes):
6214 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 375-0408
8342 Portage Road, Portage, MI | 269-327-0200

  • “Parmesan garlic chicken wings, Erbbie bread, baked ziti and any pizza at Erbelli’s” – Anna Versalle
  • “@ErbellisPizza on Stadium is by far my favorite. The Chicken Carbonara pizza is the go-to choice, fresh Romano cheese makes it perfect”- @BradGuldemond
best pizza kalamazoo

“Martini’s is my favorite (obviously)! You have to try the Pepperoni and Banana Pepper or Sausage and Mushroom pizzas if you haven’t yet. Their subs are also amazing.” – @lukelarsson on Instagram

Martini’s Pizza (9 votes):
832 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 388-8883

  • “I love Martini’s pizza & salad.” – Jerolyn Selkirk
  • “Martinis is my favorite!! I always order a slice of cheese & small house salad, but I also love their subs and many entrees. Highly recommend it in general!” – @kaitlinrosemusic
  • “Martini’s is my favorite(obviously)! You have to try the Pepperoni and Banana Pepper or Sausage and Mushroom pizzas if you haven’t yet. Their subs are also amazing.” – @lukelarsson
  • “I’d probably put Maritini’s on top due mostly to the sauce and the cheese and Erbelli’s second. I’d also give Shakespeares stone oven pizza some love, and a thumbs up to Chicago Style as well…” – Andy Miller
best pizza kalamazoo

“Super Bowl food… #foodporn #yum #delicious #bilbos #kzoo #local #pizza” – unconventionalgrrrl

Bilbo’s Pizza in a Pan (4 votes)
3307 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 382-5544
6202 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage, MI | (269) 323-8855

  • “Bilbo’s, hands down. Amazing salad and wonderful pizza.” – Kiersten Novak

Franco’s Italian Pizzeria (3 votes)
8016 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage, MI | (269) 327-3467

Pizza King (3 votes)
5236 Portage Road, Portage, MI| (269) 381-8692

  • “Pizza King on Portage Rd has been the family favorite for over 30 yrs.” – Michelle Copenhaver

Bimbo’s Pizza (2 votes)
338 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 349-3134

Bruno’s Pizza (2 votes; no website)
1528 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 349-3229

Chicago Style Pizza (2 votes)
10420 Portage Road, Portage, MI | (269) 323-0807

  • “Hands-down best. …If you’re craving pizza Chicago Styles Deep Dish with sausage and olives.” – Kim Dahill Bragg
  • “I would say Chicago style as my #1 choice, the deep dish pepperoni.” – Robin Johnson

Jaspare’s Pizza and Fine Italian Food (2 votes)
6050 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 382-2900
3262 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 544-1100
5965 S. Sprinkle Road, Portage, MI | (269) 388-4810
111 S. Main St., Vicksburg, MI | (269) 649-3975

Papa Pete’s Pizza (2 votes)
502 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 388-2196

  • “Papa Pete’s is the best kept secret. Definitely get the pizza.” – Erik Rebecca Watkins
  • “If you like bimbos you’ve gotta try #Papapetespizza or #bennuccis” – @SrGueroLoco

Bennucci’s Chicago Oven & Grill (1 vote)
3717 E Cork St. Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 385-2222

Fricano’s of Alamo (1 vote):
7454 N. 6th St., Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 342-0808

  • “Sausage and mushroom” - Linda West

Geno’s Pizza (1 vote):
113 N Riverview Drive, Kalamazoo | 269.345.7266

  • “Large with pepperoni, mushroon, bacon, onion, and green pepper. You can get the XL 1-topping PLUS breadsticks for $9.99 any day. Awesome deal!” – Robin Johnson

Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing (1 vote):
140 S. Westnedge Ave. | (269) 382-2739

  • “Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing Pizza is delicious!!! While you’re there you must try the poutine, it is amazing as is the beer!!! You won’t be disappointed!” – Elaine G. Amaya-Martin

Jet’s Pizza (1 vote)
3321 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 372-2600
5151 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 488-2000
631 Romence Road, Kalamazoo, MI | (269) 329-0528

  • “When I’m short on time.” – @BradGuldemond

Didn’t get to cast your vote? Let us know in the comments!

Click here for more cool things to do in Kalamazoo!
Click here for a list of restaurants in Kalamazoo!

Radisson Kalamazoo Wins Two Awards: ‘Hotel Of The Year,’ ‘Sales Team Of The Year’

Radisson Kalamazoo

The Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in downtown Kalamazoo recently won “Radisson Hotel of the Year” and “Radisson Sales Team of the Year” in the Americas!

Kalamazoo, Mich.Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites Kalamazoo, a proud company of Greenleaf Hospitality Group, was recently awarded “Hotel of the Year” and “Sales Team of the Year” in the Americas at the Carlson Rezidor Annual Business Conference in Minneapolis, Minn.

“We are honored to win both of these awards,” said Tim Rayman, director of hotels at Greenleaf Hospitality Group. “The Hotel of the Year Award is won by our associates’ desire and focus on creating and delivering a great guest experience every day for everyone who stays and visits our hotel.”

Hotel of the Year is judged based on the top-performing hotel criteria achievement set forth by Carlson Rezidor and also must be approved by the chief operating officer of the Radisson brand. The Sales Team of the Year award was a new addition to the roster of this year’s awards and focuses on three key criteria: greatest increase in revenue growth index year over year; director of sales must have attended Radisson Business Conference; and the guest service index score must be greater than 8. Furthermore the award must also be approved by the chief operating officer of the Radisson brand.

Rayman added that the Radisson Kalamazoo sales team strongly believes that nothing happens until you sell something.

“Our director of sales John Janco and his sales team have constantly found new ways to engage and deliver a great group experience for our clients,” Rayman said. “This award truly recognizes them for their hard work, dedication, and strong client relationships.”

Javier Rosenberg, chief operating officer, Radisson, Americas noted, “We are delighted to award the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center the Radisson Hotel of the Year award for 2013.”

Rosenberg mentioned that the Kalamazoo hotel, which completed a full renovation in 2012, offers guests over 300 guestrooms in the new urban-room style, two signature restaurants, a luxurious spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center and more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space.

“In 2013, the hotel achieved remarkable performance metrics across all areas including guest satisfaction, market share and quality standards,” Javier said. “In particular, the hotel was a top performer in service as reflected by guests who consistently recognized the team’s the Yes I Can!® spirit across all areas.

“This team’s dedication to providing 100 percent guest satisfaction has allowed the hotel to become Kalamazoo’s leading hotel and one of Michigan’s favorite conference venues,” Javier continued.

Greenleaf Hospitality Group offers an unmatched choice in world class hospitality through a variety of offerings from hotel lodging and events to dining, retail and entertainment. The Kalamazoo-based company owns and operates the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, Holiday Inn West, Wings Stadium and Wings West. In addition the following businesses are part of the Greenleaf Hospitality Group: Blush Salon + Spa, Burdick’s for Breakfast, Old Burdick’s, Rio Coffee, Sydney Apparel, Kalamazoo Athletic Club, Kalamazoo Wings, Webster’s Prime and Zazios Italian Restaurant & Bar.

Media Contact:
Sarah Lee
Director of marketing & communications
Greenleaf Hospitality Group
(269) 598-6741 | slee@ghgkz.com

Click here for more reasons to visit Kalamazoo!

Where to ice skate in greater Kalamazoo

 

ice skate kalamazoo

@navarrehouse shared this photo via Instagram during a Wings West public skate in Kalamazoo.

Kayla Kiley

You can find Kayla Kiley wrapping up in the unparalleled beauty of Michigan summers, grooving to local live music, sipping on the inventive craft-beer scene, joining foodie tours, oil painting, ballroom dancing, and simply exploring the world around her.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — With our local semi-pro hockey team Kalamazoo Wings, major synchronized skating competitions and Curling National Championships, it’s no secret that Kalamazoo has great ice.

But where can you skate in the Kalamazoo area?

Greater Kalamazoo features seven sheets of ice for public skating, and all offer rentals. Here’s a list so you can get your glide on:

Echo Valley (outdoor, seasonal) — 8495 East H Ave., Kalamazoo, MI:
Echo Valley’s 43,000-square-foot rink is a delight for young and old alike. Practice your fancy moves or learn to skate in an uncrowded environment. And, if you’ve skated on ponds and lakes, you’ll appreciate that the Echo Valley rink is groomed and resurfaced regularly. Bring your own skates or skates are available in the well-stocked skate shop. Echo Valley also has a tubing and tobogganing hill and a warming lodge with concessions. Ice skating is $5 with no additional charge for rentals. Regular hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call 269-349-3291.

Lawson Ice Arena (indoor, year round) — 2009 Howard St., Kalamazoo, MI:
Lawson Ice Arena is home to the Western Michigan University Bronco hockey team. The 200-by-85-foot surface offers public skate Monday through Thursday from noon to 12:50 p.m. for $1 with a $1 skate rental; Saturday and Sunday is 2 to 3 p.m. with a $3 admission with a $1 skate rental. Open hockey is Wednesday 9:50 to 11:10 p.m. for $8. Skate sharpening available weekdays after 4 p.m. or throughout the day on weekends. Interested in broomball? Call (269) 387-3050 for rental information and prices. For updated times, dates or cancellations about skating, call the 24-hour number 269-387-3046.

Millennium Park (outdoor, seasonal) — 280 Romence Road, Portage, MI:
Home to the first refrigerated outdoor ice rink in southwest Michigan, the Millennium Park  rink features a groomed skating surface, warming house, restrooms, skate rental, skate sharpening and food concessions. Locker rental is offered for $0.50. Cost is $4 per day to skate and $3 per day to rent skates. A 10-skate discount card is available for $25. Ice skate sharpening hours Thursday 5 to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 1 p.m. Skating hours vary — for more info, check the website or call (269) 324-9200.

ice skate Kalamazoo

Millennium Park Ice Rink in Portage offers a fantastic venue for outdoor skating during the winter months.

Wings Stadium (indoor, year round) — 3600 Vanrick Drive, Kalamazoo, MI:
Lots of major ice events are held on Wings Stadium’s two sheets of ice, and you can skate here too! Public skate happens daily for $6, and skate rental is $3 (ages 4 and younger are free). Wings Stadium also hosts several themed skates throughout the year, with the most popular being the Spooky Skate with orange ice on Halloween and the monthly DJ skates. Hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Friday 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday noon to 1:45 p.m. Over 40 drop-in hockey is Monday nights for $8 (goalies are free). For more information, call 269-345-1125.

Wings West (indoor, year round) 5076 Sports Drive, Kalamazoo, MI:
Wings West offers NHL-size rinks and the on-site restaurant, Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill. Wings West’s open public skate times are Monday and Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Saturday 6 to 8 p.m.; Sunday 2 to 3:45 p.m. Drop-in hockey is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday noon to 1:30 p.m. with an $8 admission (goalies are free). For more information, call 269-345-1125.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!

Click here for more cool things to do in Kalamazoo!

Discover Kalamazoo team member wins two awards

Nate Melvin

Discover Kalamazoo sales manager Nate Melvin, CMP, CTA, recently took home two awards at the Michigan Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals: MiSGMP’s Supplier of the Year Award and President’s Award.

Nate Melvin Kalamazoo, Mich. — A Discover Kalamazoo sales manager recently received lots of recognition at the Michigan Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (MiSGMP) annual awards banquet.

Nate Melvin, Certified Meeting Planner and Certified Tourism Ambassador, was honored with two awards: The 2013 MiSGMP Supplier of the Year, an award voted on by his fellow chapter members, and the 2013 MiSGMP President’s Award, which is given by the chapter president.

According to a MiSGMP press release, members of the MiSGMP chapter chose Melvin as the recipient of the Supplier of the Year for his “overall efforts on behalf of the chapter.” In May, Melvin coordinated the 2013 chapter Road Rally through the streets of Kalamazoo. Due to inclement weather, Melvin needed to quickly make significant changes to the rally. MiSGMP president Michelle Milligan said, not only did Melvin pull off an excellent event, but the chapter also had a great time and learned a lot about Kalamazoo. Milligan said Melvin was also instrumental in coordinating MiSGMP’s third annual convention and visitors’ bureau (CVB) presentation, an event sponsored by all chapter CVBs to provide information to chapter members on CVB services.

The second award that Melvin received, the President’s Award, is given at the discretion of the president to a chapter member(s) whom the president feels have gone above and beyond in their dedication to the chapter over the previous year; this award is not given every year. Milligan awarded Melvin with the President’s Award, recognizing him for his work as treasurer — which she called “one of the most demanding of all the board positions” — his ability to quickly catch on to MiSGMP reporting requirements, creative spirit and willingness to jump in and help whenever needed. During the presentation of the award, Milligan noted that even on the day of the ceremony Melvin exemplified the reason for the award by stepping in and re-ordering all of the silent auction items on the website to ensure quick-and-easy check-out for all attendees.

“I want to thank the chapter membership and leadership for their kind recognition, as well as Discover Kalamazoo for the opportunity to participate and grow in a leadership role,” Melvin said. “Michigan SGMP is a great, worthy organization that I truly enjoy being a part of.”

The awards ceremony occurred Nov. 20, 2013 during the Michigan SGMP Annual Silent Auction & Awards Banquet at the Mt. Pleasant Comfort Inn & Suites. Melvin has been a part of MiSGMP for two years and serves as treasurer on the board of directors.

Chartered in 1990, the Michigan Chapter is one of 31 chapters that are overseen by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals, an educational association of 3,000 members across the country whose mission is to advance and promote the knowledge and expertise of government meetings.  Michigan is currently the third largest chapter, and has been annually commended by National SGMP for excellence and membership growth; at the National Conference held in Orlando in May 2013, the Michigan Chapter was awarded the Chapter Excellence Award by the National Board of Directors for excellence in monthly and annual reporting, and Michelle Milligan, Michigan Chapter President, was awarded the 2013 President’s Award from National President, Rob Coffman, for her leadership.

Girlfriends Getaway Kalamazoo: Feb. 28 – March 2

Girlfriends Getaway Kalamazoo

Grab your BFFs and head to Girlfriends Getaway Kalamazoo Feb. 28-March 2, 2014!

Kayla Kiley

You can find Kayla Kiley wrapping up in the unparalleled beauty of Michigan summers, grooving to local live music, sipping on the inventive craft-beer scene, joining foodie tours, oil painting, ballroom dancing, and simply exploring the world around her.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — No kids. No significant others. Just you and your ladies getting together for a weekend away!

So, get your calendar out — you’ll want to pencil this in.

The inaugural Girlfriends Getaway Kalamazoo weekend happens in downtown Feb. 28 through March 2, and with this lineup of events, there’s something for everyone — whether your in your 20s or 80s. So, feel free to bring mom!

Registration for the whole weekend is $100, which includes a cocktail hour, fashion show, two brunches, activities of your choosing (see paragraph below), and beyond. Want to only come on Saturday? Register for only $70. Click to register.

On Saturday, pick and choose activities that you’d love to try (some cost extra):
• Learn to make an ottoman or paper wreath
• Get a lesson in belly-dancing
• Sign-a-long to the movie “Grease” at Alamo Drafthouse (you can even enjoy a cocktail or two while you’re there)
• Channel your inner Julia Child in a cupcake-decorating challenge
• Stretch your body and mind with yoga
• Learn about the art of craft beer from a local female brewer (yes, you get to taste it too!)
• Sip on wine while enjoying pairings
• Transform with a facial and make-up application
• More!

If you’re coming for the weekend, you’ll need a place to stay in Kalamazoo. We’ve got you covered. Many Kalamazoo hotels and bed & breakfasts are offering special packages for ladies coming for Girlfriends Getaway — just make sure to mention “Girlfriends Getaway” when booking your room.

You can also keep in touch with Girlfriends Getaway by finding them on Facebook.

Click here for more things to do in Kalamazoo!

Kalamazoo’s Best Sledding Hills

sledding kalamazoo

Echo Valley in Kalamazoo is a great place for tobogganing, tubing and ice skating.

Kayla Kiley

You can find Kayla Kiley wrapping up in the unparalleled beauty of Michigan summers, grooving to local live music, sipping on the inventive craft-beer scene, joining foodie tours, oil painting, ballroom dancing, and simply exploring the world around her.

By: Kayla Kiley
Communications & Digital Manager, Discover Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo, Mich. — If you have cabin fever, most Pure Michigan residents say the best cure is to get out and enjoy the snow!

Sledding can be a fun and low-cost way for all ages to explore Kalamazoo’s winter wonderland.

But do you know where the top-notch hills are located?

We asked our fans to share their favorite sledding hills in greater ‪‎Kalamazoo‬:
Kindleberger Park: 650 S. Riverview Dr., Parchment (many different levels of hills)
Portage Northern High School: 1000 Idaho Ave., Portage (by the baseball field — out back there’s a steep hill)
Echo Valley: 8495 E. H Ave., Kalamazoo (pay to toboggan, snow tube)
Woods Lake Elementary School: 3215 Oakland Dr., Kalamazoo (hill behind the school)
Spring Valley Elementary School: 3530 Mt. Olivet Rd., Kalamazoo (hill behind the school)
Milham Park Golf Course: 4200 Lovers Ln., Kalamazoo
Western Michigan University’s former East Hall: Kalamazoo (sled down into the old practice field)
Hillside Middle School: 1941 Alamo Ave.. Kalamazoo (the hill behind the school)
Oakland Drive Park: 7650 Oakland Dr., Portage
Maple Street Magnet Middle School: 922 W Maple St., Kalamazoo(has stairs)
Woods Lake Park: 2718 Oakland Dr., Kalamazoo (steep hill)

Additional sledding options:
• Snow Tubing/Ski at Bittersweet Ski Resort: 600 River Rd., Otsego
Brookside Park: 117 E. Orleans, Otsego
Thurl Cook Park: East end of Oak St./South end of Glenview Circle, Plainwell
• Snow Tubing/Ski at Timber Ridge Ski Area: 7500 23 1/2 St., Gobles
Milham Park: 400 E Kilgore Rd., Kalamazoo
Portage West Middle School: 7145 Moors Bridge Rd., Kalamazoo

Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!

Click here to find info about more Kalamazoo events!