The photo strips produced by Happy Days Photography's open-air photo booths have a classic look—they're 4”x6”, each one contains up to five images, and they often depict people posing with wacky props. But there's one drastic difference that sets these booths apart: each shot is snapped by a creative photographer rather than by an automated machine. Those photographers also capture images outside the booths, preserving memories of events from multiple perspectives. Clients can also opt for traditional photo shoots in scenic locations such as Fallasburg Park.
Celebrating more than 58 years in business, Katerberg VerHage, Inc.’s greatest strength is the experience and expertise of its staff. Current owner Tom VerHage has helmed the company for 48 years, leading an impressive team of horticulturists and technicians as they blend form and function to design, construct, and maintain award-winning landscapes. Registered landscape architects work closely with home and business owners to plan gardens that can accommodate any lifestyle or gnome zoning ordinance, and lawn-care specialists create a lush, green foundation for all projects. Dedicated garden experts help customers select and care for plants and other yard essentials, keeping options as affordable as possible by pulling options from the company's own tree farm and distributor. The company also offers mowing, mulching, fertilization, and pruning services and can put down pesticides to help keep yards free of irritants such as moles, insects, and door-to-door pesticide salesmen.
Founded in 2005 by passionate aviator Eric Swanson, the high-flying adventures of EasyRotor Helicopter have enjoyed publicity from Rapid Growth Media as well as from fellow Michigander and recording artist Kid Rock, who hired the company to shoot aerial footage for a music video. EasyRotor's world-class R44 Raven chopper, manufactured by Robinson Helicopter Company, conveniently facilitates the company's tours and aerial services based out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. As the helicopter slices through the air, views of Grand Rapids, its downtown, and passengers' own homes come into view. Noise-canceling headphones allow for both free-flowing conversation and unobstructed listening to the pilot's anecdotes on the sights below and the exploits of Leo da Vinci, the patron saint of helicopters.:m]]
"When we teach—from babyhood—people to move well, they'll enjoy doing it, and they'll continue doing it." Such is the philosophy of Gymco president and co-founder Doreen Bolhuis, which she relayed to the New York Times in a 2010 video report. The importance of starting young kids on the road toward athleticism is something Bolhuis is passionate about, especially as a former elite-level gymnastics coach who's been teaching for more than 35 years. It's a concept she calls "physical literacy," and she's appeared on news outlets such as Today, CNN, and ABC News to discuss how young children's physical training and development is just as important as their mental growth. Along those lines, Bolhuis created the GymTrix line of DVDs to help parents develop babies' fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
And Bolhuis's enthusiasm for childhood fitness is apparent at Gymco, where her staff undergoes a four-step technical and philosophical certification protocol on sports development. She has transformed what began in 1980 as a few classes held in a barn behind a local retirement home into a 5-acre, 16,000-square-foot first location and a second, state-of-the-art facility on the north side of town.
When you walk into either site, you'll see kids scaling rock walls, doing back flips, and defying imaginary pirates as they walk the plank-like high beam, improving their physical skills in sports, gymnastics, and cheerleading classes. What aren't as obvious are the internal changes that begin to manifest, from improved self-confidence and perseverance to the gradual building of character. Fulfilling her start-them-early mission, Bolhuis also offers classes designed specifically for preschoolers and kindergartners.
The shipping specialists at Pak Mail see cargo to its destination through time-tested air-, ground-, and ocean-shipping routes. Using double-walled corrugated boxes and made-to-size containers, Pak Mail's staff custom-packs and ships large and cumbersome cargo, from guitars to bicycles or taxidermied yetis. Artwork and fragile goods are cosseted in scratch-preventing wraps and layers of styroboard to prevent mishandling and mishaps. Pak Mail also houses three sizes of onsite mailboxes, handy for at-home business owners.
In Gymboree Play & Music's most popular class, Play & Learn, tots master skills such as cause and effect, problem solving, and good communication through games and play. The notion that learning should be fun for the under-five set permeates all of Gymboree's classes. From music and art to sports activities, most classes are calibrated for development at six-month age intervals. Mixed-age classes teach cooperation, as kids play movement games or perform songs on musical instruments. Older children take the school-skills class to learn skills that will help them in school and during conference calls with the president. All of this takes place in a well-padded indoor playground with tunnels, slides, and bridges designed by nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to withstand tiny bare feet and the wrath of resident trolls.