Disney Institute Offers Professional Workshop in Meredith

Walt Disney was a creative genius who, along with his brother Roy, redefined the rules of business while building his entertainment empire.  The success of the Disney brand is unmistakable, and business owners and professionals in New Hampshire wishing to improve their companies’ performance would be wise to attend a workshop based on Disney’s organizational strategies taking place in the Lakes Region next week.

“Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence” is a full-day event that will be presented by the Disney Institute and the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, May 4th at Church Landing at The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls.  This renowned professional development program will teach professionals proven and adaptable Disney business philosophies and techniques, allowing them to drive business results, retain employees, and satisfy customers.  The training will offer several easy-to-implement approaches in five core areas: leadership, people management, quality service, brand loyalty, and creativity.

“This is our first event offered through the Disney Institute,” says Karmen Gifford, Executive Director at the Chamber, noting that the group has not been in New Hampshire for about seven years.  “It is a unique opportunity, or as Disney says, ‘magical.’”  The workshop costs $399 per person and includes a light breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack.  “This is a excellent chance for businesses to have their staff participate and learn about Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence without paying the cost for airfare to Orlando, lodging and meals,” continues Karmen.  “As part of the program, one lucky attendee will win a chance to attend the Disney Institute program in Orlando, Florida at a later date.”

Karmen says the day program is very well organized and led by two Disney facilitators.  According to the Disney Institutewebsite, the group has “inspired leaders to change not only their business practices, but also to examine their business issues in an entirely new light. Like them, you will find your organization has more in common with Disney than you ever imagined.”

Supercharge your profession and “experience the business behind the magic” of Disney while enjoying a spring day on the shore of beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee!  As of today there are 150 seats still available.  To register for the event, visit the Chamber website or call (603) 524-5531.

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

NH Venue Hosts Royal Wedding Viewing Party and Exhibit of Princess Di’s Gowns

RoyalEngagementPhotoAs the world anticipates and witnesses the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, more than 400 guests will be watching a live broadcast of the ceremony on a big screen in New Hampshire amidst a unique collection of Princess Diana’s royal gowns and other items honoring her life.

The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth, N.H. will be hosting this dual event, which celebrates two generations of the British royal family at once.  The world-class exhibition “Diana – The People’s Princess” will be showing for a limited time at the venue from Monday, April 25 – Sunday, May 8.  This is the largest private collection of Princess Diana’s gowns in the world, and is the last time they will be shown together in the United States before they are sold at auction in Canada this summer.

While the gowns are on exhibit, a very special event will take place on Friday, April 29th—Diana’s son Prince William will marry his soon-to-be Princess Catherine Middleton—and The Flying Monkey will celebrate by hosting a Royal Wedding Viewing Party at it’s beautiful theater beginning at 4:30am.

“The Royal Wedding has captured the hearts of an international audience,” said Maureen Dunkel, owner of the collection of royal gowns.  “To witness that special day for Princess Diana’s first-born son, among her beautiful gowns and stories paying tribute to her, is going to be a touching experience those in attendance won’t soon forget.”

Guests attending the Royal Wedding Viewing Party will watch the ceremony on the Flying Monkey’s big movie screen as it happens “live.”  All people attending are invited to wear their best formal wedding attire, including the traditional large and stylish hats donned by women.  Guests can vote on the best wedding hats while enjoying tea, finger pastries, and other breakfast items.

PrincessDiDiana – The People’s Princess” is an enchanting exhibition that provides a unique glimpse into the life of Princess Diana as told through her own personal gown collection, along with videos and story boards.  Dunkel, who has vacationed in New Hampshire since childhood, chose this location as the place to bid a bittersweet goodbye to the collection due to her fond memories here.

“I’ve run the People’s Princess Charitable Foundation and had these gowns and artifacts as part of my life since 1997,” said Dunkel. “I felt it was time to bring them home to a place I hold so dear and say a final goodbye before I release the collection so that others may cherish their history and meaning.”

In keeping with Princess Diana’s wish to “do beautiful things with beautiful things,” Dunkel and The Flying Monkey are donating a portion of the exhibit’s ticket sales to The Cinderella Project of New Hampshire, a non-profit organization that provides formal gowns and accessories for young women facing financial hardship.  Since its inception in 2002, The Cinderella Project of New Hampshire has assisted more than 6,000 young women.

Tickets for the Royal Wedding Viewing Party are free of charge but limited.  Those interested in attending must reserve a seat by calling The Flying Monkey box office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday – Friday at (603) 536-2551, or online at www.flyingmonkeynh.com.  The breakfast is an additional fee.

Tickets to the full exhibit of “Diana – The People’s Princess” are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors or groups of 10 or more, and $14.95 for children age 13 and under.  Programs run every hour.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.flyingmonkeynh.com or call The Flying Monkey box office at (603) 536-2551.  Group tickets must be purchased by phone.

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Photos courtesy of The Common Man Family of Restaurants

Get Your Laughs at Comedy Night at Church Landing

Comedy Night at Church LandingIt’s the feel-good event of the year—Kidworks Learning Center is teaming up with The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls and Meredith Village Savings Bank to bring the Meredith community a night of comedy and merriment to benefit the children of Kidworks.

On Friday, April 22nd, two nationally renowned comedians will perform at Church Landing as part of the Comedy Night fundraising event.  Kidworks has previously hosted several fundraisers on a smaller scale, such as bake sales, book sales, and Yankee Candle drives, but this is the first major event for the Center.  The evening begins with a cash bar at 7pm, followed by an 8pm comedy show featuring Tom Hayes and Rob Steen.

Tom Hayes is a quick and witty performer who has performed stand-up comedy at the Comedy Connection and Nick’s Comedy Stop in Boston, Catch a Rising Star in New York, Second City in Chicago, and the Bermuda Comedy Club.  He is a winner of Showtime TV’s “Funniest Person in Massachusetts” award.

Rob Steen got his start as a street performer in Boston at the age of 12, honing his skills as a juggler and improv performer.  Since then he has been featured on several TV shows, including The Late Show with Dave Letterman, where he is a frequent guest.  Rob’s act has been compared to Robin Williams’ due to his fast-paced delivery and quick wit, and his high-energy show brings audiences together with a unique style of house participation.

Tickets to the show are $20 per person and include a 2-for-1 dinner entrée coupon, which can be redeemed at Lakehouse Grille, CAMP, Lago, Mame’s, or Giuseppe’s on the evening of the show. The tickets can be purchased at Innisfree Bookshop and Meredith Mobil Station, or by emailing michelle@millfalls.com.  Ticket sales are currently going strong, but there is still time to get yours!  If they haven’t sold out by Friday, tickets will be available at the door the night of the event.  The Inns are also offering special guest-room rates upon request for that night.

“We are confident it will be fun night out, everybody loves to laugh,” says Michelle Brown, a member of Kidworks’ Board of Directors.  “We are also grateful to the local restaurants for providing the added value to our tickets with the addition of a buy one entree get one free.”

When asked how the organization came up with the idea to do a comedy show, Michelle replied, “Several local organizations host their major fundraisers in March and April, and the tickets range from $45 – $50 per person.  We needed ours to be different and reasonably priced.  A comedy event provided a great platform for what we were looking for.  Rob Steen at North Shore Comedy has been great to work with in helping us get off the ground.”

“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls for this fundraising opportunity,” added Jennifer Weeks, Executive Director of Kidworks. “We thought a comedy show would be a great night out for the community and families.  The children will be helping make the centerpieces for the event as part of their community project.”

Proceeds from the show will go towards improving the Kidworks Learning Center facility and future programs.   According to their website, the mission of the Kidworks Learning Center is to provide high-quality early childhood education and childcare programs at an affordable cost to families.  For more information, call Kidworks at (603) 279-6633.

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Explore Vernal Pools in the Lakes Region

Vernal PoolWhen the snow melts and spring rain falls in New Hampshire, little ponds and puddles, known as vernal pools, are found in the woods and forests.  These pools are rich with life while they last, and are an important part of the ecosystem here.  This month, two of the Lakes Region’s nature centers will be hosting educational walks that feature vernal pools at their peak, providing an outdoor adventure for the whole family!

On Saturday, April 16th, head over to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness for their Vernal Pool Exploration workshop.  The adventure begins inside where visitors can get an overview of what they hope to find and see photos of amphibians and invertebrates.  Then the group will take a short walk to a seldom-visited vernal pool on the Science Center’s grounds.  The exploration will Include collecting and observing some of the creatures who live in these temporary pools, possibly including wood frog eggs, spotted or Jefferson/blue spot salamander eggs, fairy shrimp, caddis fly larvae, and mosquito larvae.

The Fells Historic Estate & Gardens in Newbury will be conducting a Vernal Pool Walk on Saturday, April 30th.  Kathleen Stowell from The Lake Sunapee Protective Association will lead curious visitors on a springtime adventure at this 84-acre property.  Guests will discover the many species that live in the vernal pools and learn why these habitats are so important.

But you don’t have to go too far to locate these amazing creatures coming to life—take a walk in your back yard or nearby forest trail and take a close look at some of the puddles.  The New Hampshire woods are waking up!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Image credit: Nicholas_T at Flickr.com