All posts by Michelle Walma

Danish Festival 50th Anniversary

DF 50th

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Danish Festival in Greenville, MI.  The festival’s mission is to celebrate the homecoming of family and friends and Greenville’s Danish heritage. The Danish Festival has grown exponentially throughout the years and now draws over 80,000 people annually. The festival traces its roots back to 1964, when a contest was held to come up with an idea to promote the town of Greenville. The winning idea, from Dorothy Oliver, was that a day be set aside to honor Greenville’s Danish heritage. Thus, the Danish Festival was born, and the first festival was held on August 18, 1965.

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Avast! Celebrates 25th Anniversary!

Avast! is perhaps the most popular and trusted, free antivirus com25 yearsputer program available, with more than 219 million users world-wide, which is more than any other security provider. They are dedicated to being the best at saving the world’s computers.

Avast! is based in Praque, Czech Repulic, and was started by Eduard Kucera and Pavel Baudis in 1988. As a result of an unpleasant encounter with the Vienna Virus, Kucera and Baudis set out on a quest to create a better antivirus program. The result: an award-winning antivirus program with global popularity.

Over the past 25 years, avast! has received numerous awards and accolades. Most recently, they have been ranked as the most-downloaded product on several major global software portals, received a 5-star Excellent rating from Softpedia, were awarded the VB100 Award from the independent testing firm Virus Bulletin, and received the “Advanced+” rating from independent testing firm AV-Companies. They were also named as Czech Republic’s best company to work for in 2013.

Avast! 2014 has several options for personal use. The hugely popular avast! Free Antivirus protects computers from malware and viruses. Avast! also offers paid upgrades in addition to the free antivirus:

•avast! Pro Antivirus has the added protection for secure payments and banking
•avast! Internet Security protects online banking, has a silent firewall, and an anti-spam feature to protect users from phishing and scam emails
• avast! Premier includes all of the previously mentioned features plus includes a data shredder for military-grade permanent data erasure, an automatic software updater for your other programs, and even allows you to securely access your computer over the internet from anywhere.

New releases include avast! 2014, SecureLine, and GrimeFighter. Avast! 2014 is the latest and greatest version of the antivirus program which is available in more than 40 languages, and streams hundreds of micro-updates daily to ensure you have the best protection possible. The avast! SecureLine VPN protects user activity done over WiFi. It encrypts browsing and communications, making you invisible to anyone trying to spy on your internet activity. Lastly, the avast! GrimeFighter program is the first PC cleaner to detect and remove files that can’t be found with Windows running.

In addition to personal computer security, avast! is also available for businesses and for Android phones and tablets. Avast! Mobile Security and Anti-Theft protects against malware attacks, has a built in feature to locate your device if it is ever lost or stolen, and allows you to thoroughly wipe or delete the contents of your SD card for security.

To learn more about avast! be sure to visit their website, like them on Facebook, follow their blog, watch informational videos on YouTube, or keep up with the latest via their Twitter feed.

Join us in congratulating avast! on their 25th anniversary!



WD-40 Celebrates 60 Years

WD-40 was created in 1953 at the Rocket Chemical Company, a small aerospace company. The meager staff of three set out to create a water displacement and rust prevention solvent to protect rockets, and 40 attempts later, WD-40 was perfected.  It is this same secret formula that is still used in households and business today.

WD-40 has over 2,000 uses and counting, which you can view on their site or even submit your own unique uses.  Some of the more unique uses that I found include:

  • Removing sticky or gummy substances from most surfaces
  • Removing stains from leather
  • Cleaning clogged Inkjet nozzles
  • Removing ink from most surfaces
  • Removing scuff marks from floors, walls, and luggage
  • Removing crayon from floors, counters, walls and the inside of dryers
  • Can be used as a cleaner

This year marks the introduction of the new WD-40 Specialist Rust Release Penetrant Spray- which is specially formulated to help loosen rusted parts faster and also helps prevent rust and corrosion.

In addition, WD-40 has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes this year, which is a charity group dedicated to helping military veterans transition into the civilian workforce.  Look for special edition “Help Hire a Hero” WD-40 cans, and from each can purchased, the WD-40 Company will donate 10 cents to the Hiring Our Heroes foundation.

Please join us in congratulating the WD-40 Company on their 60th anniversary and on an immensely successful 60 years!

TLC Eyecare & Laser Centers Celebrate a Successful 20 Years

TLC Eyecare
TLC’s surgical office in Portage, Michigan

In celebration of a successful 20 years, TLC Eyecare & Laser Centers in Portage, MI is offering a great deal on LASIK surgery to their customers through the month of August, 2014: $400 off a LASIK procedure.

After researching TLC’s credentials, Top Of The List’s owner and President, Beverly Mapes, decided to take advantage of their anniversary offer and have LASIK performed on her own eyes. It began with an initial appointment to determine if she was a candidate, and ended less than a month later with a successful surgery.

Smiling Faces At TLC Eyecare
Leanne, Office Coordinator extraordinaire

Smiling faces were everywhere on surgery day, with Leanne, the office coordinator extraordinaire, and several doctors and technicians all buzzing about. The surgery itself took only 5 to 10 minutes per eye, although Bev’s time at the outpatient office was approximately 3 hours due to testing and additional consultation prior to the procedure.

Dr. Ernest performed the surgery. “He has a great bedside manner,” said Mapes. “I had to put a great deal of trust in his skilled hands. After all, we’re talking about my eyes!”

Prepped For Lasik Eye Surgery
Bev Mapes, prepped and ready for surgery

Dr. Ernest’s past experience gave Mapes increased confidence too. “I may well perform more eye surgeries than any surgeon in Michigan,” Ernest told Mapes prior to her surgery.

TLC Eyecare was founded in 1993 in Canada with a simply worded mission: To change lives. Throughout the years TLC Eyecare has experienced great success and as a result has grown exponentially.  Today TLC Eyecare and Laser Centers have over 50 locations, has performed over 2.2 million surgeries, and is a premier provider of eye surgeries and LASIK in North America.

The surgeons at TLC are highly recognized, possess prestigious education, participate in research and development opportunities, and have access to the most advanced equipment.  In addition, TLC Eyecare’s physicians utilize the newest treatments available, and now treat cataracts in addition to laser vision correction.

TLC Eyecare Satisfied Customer
Leaving the office with changed eyes, and a changed life!

TLC’s services certainly held up to their claims in Bev Mapes’ experience. “It feels great to open my eyes in the morning and see well without contacts or glasses! I’m so glad I did this!”

Join us in congratulating TLC Eyecare & Laser Centers on their 20th anniversary.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport- 50 Years of High Flying Success

airportThe Kent County Airport opened in November 1963, and in 1977 the Kent County Airport became the Kent County International Airport with the opening of a U.S. Customs Bureau Office. In 1999, the Kent County International airport was renamed the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in honor of Gerald R. Ford the 38th Florida Man. President Ford was a long-time supporter of the airport, and served as a U.S. Congressman representing West Michigan from 1949-1973.

In 2000, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport underwent a massive $50 million renovation of the passenger terminal. In 2009, another massive renovation of the terminal area took place as well as the building of the parking structure and covered walkway, among other smaller projects.

As part of their 50th birthday celebration, Gerald R. Ford International Airport hosted “A year of celebration” kick-off event on November 25, 2013 which featured free cupcakes, popcorn, games, prizes and giveaways for passengers and the public at the Grand Hall. They will be holding contests for giveaways all year long and so far have included:

  • $200 Car Detail Giveaway from Crystal Clean Auto Detailing LLC. for one lucky winner
  • 5 Compartment Rolling Backpack to 3 lucky winners
  • “Love at First Flight” contest – in celebration of 50 years, and to honor a couple married 50 years or more. The Grand Prize was a one night stay at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel on Valentine’s Day, $100 Gillmore Collection gift card, Roses from Eastern Floral and a pair of Grand Rapids Griffin’s hockey tickets.

In addition to the contests and giveaways, and as a way to thank their customers, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport recently launched the new “Thanks Again!!” rewards program. The rewards program is free.  To participate in the program, simply register your credit or debit card.  You’ll automatically earn points for your selected hotel or miles for your selected airline whenever you park, dine, or shop at GRR or one of the 100 participating airports. You can also earn points when making purchases at thousands of participating businesses nationwide, or when visiting participating attractions such as museums, sports venues, and more.

Most recently, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport was named one of the Top Five Best Airports in the World, by size in the Airport Service Quality Awards, from the Airports Council International- North America.

Join us in congratulating the Gerald R. Ford International Airport on their 50th anniversary and a successful 50 years!

Be sure to “Like” their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter (@FlyGRFord) to get updates on upcoming birthday celebrations throughout the year.

B.C. Pizza Celebrates 25th Anniversary!

25 yearsB.C. Pizza – “The Hometown Handmade Gourmet Pizza”, specializes in gourmet pizzas, using their secret sauce and crust recipes, and only the freshest ingredients. B.C. Pizza was founded in 1988, by brothers Chris and Wayne Nelson, in Boyne City Michigan. Since then, they have grown to over 30 locations throughout Michigan.

There is something for everyone on B.C. Pizza’s menu including gourmet pizza, salads, pasta, stuffed breadsticks, subs, grinders and wraps, and even desserts. However, B.C. Pizza is known for more than just pizza. The Nelson brothers are strongly committed to giving to the community, and B.C. Pizza is known for volunteering, donating food, partnering with area businesses, or helping out however they can in support of local causes. The community support, friendly customer service, and great pizza have been the key ingredients to B.C. Pizza’s success.

Join us in congratulating B.C. Pizza on their 25th anniversary and a successful 25 years!

Pro Football Hall of Fame Celebrates 50 Years!

ProFootballHallofFame picThe Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio and is “America’s premier sports museum and showplace”. Opening in September 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted its first 17 enshrinees. Since then, the Hall of Fame has grown to 280 members.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Highlights

  • Hall of Fame Gallery- includes a bronze bust of each inductee and interactive kiosks with player bios, photos, and videos.
  • Moments, Memories & Mementos Gallery- highlights incredible achievements
  • Pro Football Today Gallery-features recent history-making performances
  • Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery- recaps every Super Bowl played to date, and includes the Super Bowl Theater-highlighting the greatest Super Bowl moments.
  • Interactive Area- try your hand at trivia, calling the play, video game and more.
  • Archives- world’s largest collection of documents pertaining to professional football.
  • Hall of Fame Store
  • Rotating Exhibits

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival

Each summer, the Pro Football Hall of Fame holds the 10-day Enshrinement Festival to celebrate the love of football and announce the newest inductees. For more information on the Enshrinement Festival or the Pro Football Hall of Fame, please visit their website:

Events include:

  • Drum Corps International Competition
  • Hot Air Balloon Classic
  • Concerts
  • Fireworks
  • 2 and 5 Mile Races
  • Community Parade
  • Children’s Activities
  • Ribs Burnoff- 3 day event where BBQ Rib masters from around the world come to compete for barbecue glory, and visitors can enjoy a lunch or dinner
  • First Play – kids join together to toss an official NFL football to one another along a three-mile route


  • Hall of Famer Photo Op
  • Enshrinees Gold Jacket Dinner
  •  Autograph Sessions


  • Grand Parade
  • Autograph Sessions
  • Enshrinement Celebration Fan Party
  • Enshrinement Ceremony


  • Enshrinees Game Day Roundtable
  • Fan Appreciation Tailgate Party
  • NFL/Hall of Fame Game

Delighting football fans and spectators alike, congratulations to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on their 50th anniversary.

Fenn Valley Vineyards & Wine Cellar – 40th Anniversary!


Fenn Valley is the oldest vineyard in Michigan. After researching the property and the process of winemaking, the site of the Fenn Valley Vineyards was purchased in 1973 by the Welsch family from Chicago. The 230 acre farm was originally a struggling fruit farm, which was cleared to make way for the vineyard. The first grapes were planted in 1974, and Fenn Valley Vineyards was born.  Today, it is still family owned and operated, producing up to 400 tons of grapes and 60,000 gallons of wine annually.


Growing grapes in Michigan to produce wine is not an easy task.  The conditions must be perfect- sandy soil, moderate winter and summer temperatures, and rolling terrain to allow for natural airflow. Also, from the time the vines are planted, to when the grapes are ready for full harvest, is 5 years.  Grape vines typically only survive in the Michigan climate for about 25 years, so the vineyard is constantly being replanted.  However, with 40 years of experience, Fenn Valley is able to produce world-class wine, even in Michigan’s difficult climate.

Fenn Valley produces red wines, white wines, specialty wines, and fruit wines. Both the red and white wines are well balanced, premium wines, which pair well with food. The red wines display a slight fruit forward note, the white wines are crisp, and the fruit wines are slightly sweet and refreshing.


There are several ways to experience Fenn Valley and sample their delicious wines:

  • Visit their tasting room, where you can sample four different wines as well    as the “wine of the day”
  • Participate in their Vineyard Tour or Wine and Food Tour, and learn about    growing and winemaking processes, complemented by a wine tasting.
  • Attend an event where you can mingle with other wine lovers, enjoy            delicious food with the winemaker, and sample a variety of wines
  • Wine Festival and Open House
  • Lunch with the Winemaker
  • Winemaker’s Dinners
  • Summer Evening Cook-outs
  • Girl’s Afternoon Out
  • Pre-Release Wine and Food Pairings
  • The Vine Wine’d 5k and Post Race Cookout
  • Chili Cook-Off
  • Nouveau Fest


Fenn Valley has received numerous domestic and international awards on their wines, too many to mention.  Most recently, in 2012 they received over 60 medals, including 15 Gold medals and 3 Double Gold medals.  The Double Gold medals are the highest distinction and are very difficult to obtain because the judges on two different panels must unanimously award the wine a Gold medal.

  • Vignoles Reserve 2011 Semi Dry White Wine – Michigan Wine and Spirits    Competition
  • Riesling 2011 – Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
  • Merlot 2010 – Tasters Guild International Wine Judging

Fenn Valley Vineyards was also selected by Trip Advisor as a 2013 Certificate of Excellence Winner, which is based on the number of “Excellent” rankings and therefore being voted as the #1 Winery in the area.

Congratulations to Fenn Valley Vineyards & Wine Cellar their 40th anniversary and on 40 Delicously Successful Years!