eMailMax 3/5/16 : Page 1

ECRWSS SEE OUR AD ON PAGES 6 & 7 March 5, 2016 Local Postal Customer Paper. News Your Good www.MailMaxOnline.com POSTMASTER: Please deliver on March 5, 2016 Moody on The Market Volume 17, Ver. 10 M oody Pat Christania Waggoner is getting to be pretty adept in the world of business. What started out a few short years ago as Sweet Dreams Baked Goods , a first class bakery ven-ture specializing in cakes and specialty desserts for the wedding trade, evolved late last year into her Sweet Dreams Candy Store in downtown St. Joseph . Recently, she boldly raised her enterprise to a whole new level by presenting plans for her proposed new Stonegate Manor Event Venue in Benton Charter Township . Waggoner appeared before the Benton Charter Township Planning Commission seeking approval of a Special Use Permit for the property at 2251 Riverside Road in the township. She won unani-mous approval from the planners who sent her plan next to the Benton Township Board of Trustees for their approval, which was granted a week later. Waggoner told the Planning Commission, “With the ever increas-ing evidence that Michigan’s Great Southwest is becoming a true destination attraction within the wed-ding industry, my ongoing contact with the men and women who are deciding to get married in our area provided an excellent window to that world.” She added, “Thanks to my businesses of Sweet Dreams Baked Goods and Sweets & Things in downtown St. Joseph, I have virtually daily contact with brides and grooms who are planning their special days. With seem-ingly every consultation it became quite clear that there is a decided need for additional wedding venues in Southwest Michigan to handle this increasing desire to capitalize on the beauty of the region.” Waggoner, who appeared with her husband Tom , said that when a classic Victorian-style home became avail-able on the open market along Riverside Road in the Township, she quickly approached her husband urging him to strongly consider purchasing that property as a perfect wedding venue. Fortunately, he concurred. The couple plans to craft a first-class event venue capable of seating from 212 to 240 guests in a 5,100 square foot building on the property that had been the home of a House of David Museum under prior owner Chris Siriano . John Olson of Merritt Engineering present-ed the site plan to township planners, reflecting paved parking for 57 vehicles and the capability for additional parking space on property being leased by Waggoner from adjacent property owners Tom & Prudy Nelson . Nelson is a partner in the event venue as well. The venue would be used from April through October each year and would be both heated and air-conditioned for the comfort of guests. A grassy area directly in front of the building will be groomed for gardens and an out-door wedding area for ceremonies after which the building would host the reception. Another small out-building nearby will be converted to a bridal suite where brides can prepare for onsite ceremonies. Waggoner says they selected the name Stonegate Manor for the property, which sits on six acres, bound-ed by a beautiful stone fence at the front of the property with the gut feeling that such a classic setting will become an instant hit with the types of couples who are increasingly seeking “storybook” settings, and destina-tion weddings. Chris tells me that over the past year, in situating her baking facility at the kitchen of Cravings Catering , she has been fortunate to work side-by-side Introducing • ProVia doors are tailored just for your home • Founded over 30 years ago near Sugarcreek, Ohio in the heart of Amish Country ‡/DUJHDVVRUWPHQWRIÀEHUJODVVDQG steel entry doors • Assortment of storm doors in many colors www.proviaproducts.com • Tilt-in windows for easy cleaning ‡)UHHHQHUJ\HIÀFLHQWORZHPLVVLRQ glass with argon gas • FREE no-pressure estimates • Locally owned and operated your money stays in the community • Choose from 8 different exterior colors DQGZRRGJUDLQLQWHULRUÀQLVKHV Made in Michigan for our Michigan Climate! 30% OFF Vinyl Replacement Windows and Patio Doors * *Discount applies to list price. Special valid on new orders only. Previous sales and estimates excluded. Minimum 4 window order. Does not apply towards basement hopper windows. Expires 4-15-16 5275 Red Arrow Highway • Stevensville • 269-428-4464 • www.midwestglass.com Winter Hours: Mon-Fri 8-5:00 Visit Our Facebook page for other offers! Inserts & Promotions MailMax is a publication of Far Ahead Advertising, Inc. 2202 Plaza Drive Benton Harbor, MI 49022 Phone: 269.934.7522 FAX: 269.934.3297 email: publisher@farahead.com www.MailMaxOnline.com •www.facebook.com/eMailMax • Martins Super Markets • Hardings Friendly Market • Culvers • Save-A-Lot Inserts may vary by Zip Code Continued on page 8

Moody On The Market

Pat Moody

Christania Waggoner is getting to be pretty adept in the world of business. What started out a few short years ago as Sweet Dreams Baked Goods, a first class bakery venture specializing in cakes and specialty desserts for the wedding trade, evolved late last year into her Sweet Dreams Candy Store in downtown St. Joseph. Recently, she boldly raised her enterprise to a whole new level by presenting plans for her proposed new Stonegate Manor Event Venue in Benton Charter Township. Waggoner appeared before the Benton Charter Township Planning Commission seeking approval of a Special Use Permit for the property at 2251 Riverside Road in the township. She won unanimous approval from the planners who sent her plan next to the Benton Township Board of Trustees for their approval, which was granted a week later. Waggoner told the Planning Commission, “With the ever increasing evidence that Michigan’s Great Southwest is becoming a true destination attraction within the wedding industry, my ongoing contact with the men and women who are deciding to get married in our area provided an excellent window to that world.” She added, “Thanks to my businesses of Sweet Dreams Baked Goods and Sweets & Things in downtown St. Joseph, I have virtually daily contact with brides and grooms who are planning their special days. With seemingly every consultation it became quite clear that there is a decided need for additional wedding venues in Southwest Michigan to handle this increasing desire to capitalize on the beauty of the region.”

Waggoner, who appeared with her husband Tom, said that when a classic Victorian-style home became available on the open market along Riverside Road in the Township, she quickly approached her husband urging him to strongly consider purchasing that property as a perfect wedding venue. Fortunately, he concurred. The couple plans to craft a first-class event venue capable of seating from 212 to 240 guests in a 5,100 square foot building on the property that had been the home of a House of David Museum under prior owner Chris Siriano. John Olson of Merritt Engineering presented the site plan to township planners, reflecting paved parking for 57 vehicles and the capability for additional parking space on property being leased by Waggoner from adjacent property owners Tom & Prudy Nelson. Nelson is a partner in the event venue as well. The venue would be used from April through October each year and would be both heated and air-conditioned for the comfort of guests. A grassy area directly in front of the building will be groomed for gardens and an outdoor wedding area for ceremonies after which the building would host the reception. Another small outbuilding nearby will be converted to a bridal suite where brides can prepare for onsite ceremonies. Waggoner says they selected the name Stonegate Manor for the property, which sits on six acres, bounded by a beautiful stone fence at the front of the property with the gut feeling that such a classic setting will become an instant hit with the types of couples who are increasingly seeking “storybook” settings, and destination weddings. Chris tells me that over the past year, in situating her baking facility at the kitchen of Cravings Catering, she has been fortunate to work side-by-side with Chef Eduardo Pesantez and watched him work his magic for catering clients. She says she knew instantly that his dedication to utilizing only the freshest and highest quality ingredients made him the perfect answer to who would serve as the exclusive caterer for Stonegate Manor…and he has agreed to sign on for that purpose. The nearest neighbor to south, a man named Dan, had no major objections to the plans, in fact he told planners, “I’m excited, but I DJ weddings, so...” The nearest north side neighbor, a man named Joe, a building contractor, only asked for reassurances that the tree line between their properties would be preserved and that traffic which will use a driveway closest to his own, would not be disruptive. He told planners, “I think it will help the value of my property.” Following a few questions regarding Drain Commission and Road Commission comments on the site, and clarifications regarding noise levels from live music, parking lot lighting, and the fact that no on site kitchen will be employed, due to the catering arrangements, the planning commission approved the special use permit, as did the full Board of Trustees for their consideration. Stay tuned for more on the new destination attraction of the Stonegate Manor Event Center at Riverside.

One of the oldest church buildings in all of Berrien County is now home to one of the newest church families in the entire region...all thanks to the shifting fortunes of two other churches who eventually found the solution through a merger of sorts. This is the story of the new Berrien Community Church in Bridgman. The new church congregation has actually been in the community as a force for nearly two years, but decided to share their story with the community at large to see if perhaps it might be the church of your choice going forward. The story begins on two fronts. In 1875, well more than 100 years ago, the church community known as Olivet Congregational Church began at 4284 Lake Street in Bridgman. Olivet Congregational was a solid, thriving church and a focal point in the Bridgman community for many years. In 1960, Olivet underwent a leadership change, and started out with many of its original generational members. Over the next forty years however, the church was slowly losing members, and leadership changed hands again, leading to a slow decline. By 2010, Olivet was down to a handful of members who decided to leave and find a new church home. Meanwhile, a few miles away, the church community of the Baroda Worship Center was being led by Pastor Herb Smith. Smith has been in the ministry and has specialized in mission planting all over the nation. He has been a Pastor for more than 40-years, has served his national faithfully in the military and holds multiple degrees in his chosen field. Pastor Smith was also witnessing problems with his congregation. The exact opposite issue of Olivet. Baroda Worship Center was growing and running out of space. He knew it was time to find something new, and launched the search for a new church home. In 2014, Pastor Herb heard of the trials and tribulations of Olivet Congregational and their myriad struggles. Following careful consideration and considerable thoughtful prayer, Baroda Worship Center and Olivet Congregational elected to merge congregations to create something new, and something fully renewed. Today, the new Berrien Community Church now calls the more than 100 year old Bridgman church its home. Already Berrien Community Church has played an active role in the community, reaching out a hand and opening their doors to those who need it. The congregation is currently involved in multiple community events, partnering with other local churches for food drives. They hosted a Fall Harvest Party, they opened doors to Trick-or-Treaters for a warm dinner, snacks and activities for the kids. Members of the Berrien Community Church have been actively restoring the church back to its former glory, with a goal to stay family-focused, community-driven, and “to be the hands and feet of Jesus” to those around them. Worship style at Berrien Community is contemporary with a traditional flair, blending current worship with traditional hymns and praise. They also have employed a fun Kids Ministry, which is led by Pastor Herb’s wife, Christine. There is also an Adult Sunday School before worship and on Thursdays, and they hold prayer nights and Bible study where they provide a warm dinner to those in attendance. Berrien Community Church member Romy Ingels tells me that they are excited to be partnering with the Bridgman community, and look forward to the future. Service times are every Sunday at 11am, with Adult Sunday School preceding at 10am. Bible study and Prayer sessions are held Thursday evenings at 6:30pm. Congratulations to two successful church families finding one another on alternate trajectories, now both soaring to new heights for the worship and the community at large as well. The church is located at 4284 Lake Street in downtown Bridgman.

If you count yourself among those who are completely, totally, unequivocally ready to dump the winter season and bring on the spring, it’s time to “call your mother, call your sister, call your girlfriends” and get ready to party in St. Joe with St. Joseph Today’s Diva Days celebration coming next weekend, March 11th through the 13th. Whitney Behnke is Executive Director of St. Joseph Today and she says, “Our downtown is welcoming spring by helping women of all ages embrace their inner Diva!” Diva Days -- A Women’s Weekend is a collaborative weekend-long celebration hosted by the community’s restaurants, stores and hotels. The weekend gives ladies literally dozens of reasons to come together for pampering, shopping and entertainment. Behnke says, “While it’s fun to plan for a girl’s night out, it’s really a great excuse for ‘the girls’ to stay the weekend with each other.” She adds that many of the community’s lodgings are within walking distance or a short, easy drive of the activities. Reservation information is available at www.StJoeToday.com/ Sleep. Whitney tells us that the first 150 women to purchase their ticket for the Friday night event will earn a dynamite Diva Swag Bag filled with special discounts and offers at participating locations. She says, “This year we have so many great offerings for our divas. We have two main events planned, a fashion show on Friday night and unique entertainment experience on Saturday.” She calls it, “A weekend ladies will not want to miss.” Ticket prices for the events are $36 for the Spring Fashion Show and Exclusive Shopping and $40 for InnDulgence. Tickets can be purchased online at the link below, and table reservations are also available. Here’s the link for tickets to both the Spring Fashion Show and InnDulgence: http://mwfshopping.Com/michigan. Here’s what you can expect. On March 11th, the Spring Fashion Show & Exclusive Shopping at The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center at 601 Main Street in St. Joe will begin with doors opening at 6pm and the Fashion Show at 7pm. This premier event showcases the latest spring fashions from downtown stores including DK Boutique, Friends by Design, Grins of St. Joseph, Lana’s Boutique, Lazy Daisy, Moxie’s Boutique and State Street Stuff. The evening includes a unique window shopping experience, open bar, DJ, swag bag giveaways and exclusive after-hours shopping in participating boutiques. On March 12th, InnDulgence will be showcased at The Inn at Harbor Shores at 800 Whitwam Drive in St. Joe. The night begins at 7pm and admission includes live entertainment, drink specials, heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts along with a drag show. Other weekend activities include tastings of regional wines and beers, special sales, dining discounts, workshops and demonstrations, cooking classes, antique finds and more. For updates and more information, visit www.StJoeToday.com/allevents.

Last year, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church asked for you, the general public, to help Crock the Vote, in their bid to win a $10,000 grant from Motown Soup to help keep food in stock in their Benton Harbor area food pantry. You responded well, boosting the church to a solid 2nd place win despite the fact that they were the only non-profit organization in the running from this side of the state. The 2015 Motown Soups Crock the Vote 2nd place win and its $3,000 cash prize came home to Benton Harbor as a result of the strong balloting push from our region. That $3,000 cash infusion played a critical role the purchase of food to go onto the shelves at the St. Augustine food pantry. The church, which is located across the street from the Signature Automotive Group at 1753 Union Street, in Benton Charter Township, is once again the only non-profit agency in West Michigan in the running for the $10,000 top prize. Balloting began last Sunday, and will conclude tomorrow, Sunday, March 6th at 11:45am. There are six competitors for the money, but only one on this side of the state. Anybody with an e-mail address can vote in the competition by clicking the link to the site for a ballot, and forward the address to family and friends, and whoever would be willing to help Crock the Vote for St. Augustine. Their food pantry successfully purchased 27,671 pounds of food through Feeding America for local residents at a cost of over $15,450 largely thanks to donations and programs like the Motown Soup offer. If you know of anyone who could benefit from receiving food, you can refer them to the church during normal pantry hours of 5:30pm-6:30pm on 2nd and 3rd Monday each month. Here’s the link to vote: www.SurveyMonkey.com/r/CrocktheVote2016.

That’s it for this week. See you Saturday right here in MailMax!

Pat Moody
Morning Radio Personality
WSJM Radio
moody@wsjm.com
(269) 925-1111

Read the full article at http://www.onlinedigitalmagazines.com/article/Moody+On+The+Market/2416576/292803/article.html.

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