“Enchanted by the Bell”

Albuquerque, New Mexico  ♦  Thursday, June 23, 2016 – Sunday, June 26, 2016

mary-Hotel_outsideLocated at 1000 Woodward Place NE, just 4.6 miles from the Albuquerque Airport, The Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa offers ABA members very reasonable room rates. The rate is $109 per night from June  20-26, 2016 and on an availability-only basis for three days before (June 17-19) and three days after (June 27-29). Tour attendees, be sure to make your reservation early! Staying at the Embassy Suites provides ABA meeting rooms for the convention.

Hotel Amenities

  • Suite with one King or two Double Beds
  • Sleeper sofa, two flat-screen TVs
  • Wet Bar, Microwave, and Refrigerator
  • Fitness Facilities and Swimming Pool
  • FREE Internet Service & daily USA Newspaper
  • FREE daily cooked-to-order breakfast
  • FREE Parking
  • FREE daily Evening Reception with snacks & drinks
  • 10% discount in Cyprus Grill Restaurant & Caffeina’s Coffee Bar

Hotel Reservations

  • Online: Book here by June 1, 2016
  • Telephone: 1-505-245-7100, mention the American Bell Association
  • Fax: 505-247-1083
  • A block of rooms has been reserved for the convention from June 20-26, 2016, for pre-convention tours from June 17-19, and for post-convention stays from June 27-29. Reservations at the special room rate will be available until June 1 or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.
  • A credit card is needed to guarantee your reservation.
  • Check-in time is 3:00 pm.
  • Cancel by 4:00 pm on arrival day to avoid one-night “no show” fee.
  • Check-out time is noon. Request late check-out at the Front Desk on the day of departure with a possible half-day fee.

mary hotel-double



Convention Registration

New for 2016… you can now register for the convention and submit payment online! Registration will be:

Regular Adult Registration = $155 per person
Regular First Timer Registration = $124 per person
Partial Registration Day with meals = $ 75 per person
Partial Registration Day without meals = $ 25 per person
Tuesday Tour (optional) = $30 per person
Wednesday Tour (optional) = $20 per person

Attention First Timers

If you have never attended an ABA convention, you may register and attend the 2016 convention for the reduced price of $99 if your “Early Bird” registration is postmarked by April 1 or $124 after the April 1 postmark, courtesy of the Convention Standing Committee. Corresponding regular prices are $130 and $155.

Convention Mentor

Want to come to your first convention but feeling unsure? We’re offering a mentor to those of you not attending with someone you know. Your mentor can fill you in on the mechanics of convention, make recommendations and help you with any questions. Just let us know on your registration form.

Early Bird Special

Early Bird Drawing

Three (3) names will be drawn for an upgrade to a suite on the Premium 9th Floor (all rooms with balconies) at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

To qualify for the Early Bird drawing, your convention registration must be paid and postmarked on or before April 1, 2016 AND your hotel reservation must also be made and confirmed by this date.

Tell Me About Bells! (Convention Programs and Activities)

After you pick up your registration packet and convention bell, the doors to the Bell Exhibits Room will open revealing a variety of the thousands of bells displayed by ABA members! This is a great place to learn more about your bells and bells in general!

The opening of the BEHOLD (Bell Educational Hands-Off Learning Display) Room follows. These displays show different types of bell collections and add another educational element to the convention experience. (Bells on display in this room are not to be picked up and handled and they are not for sale.)

Parade of Chapter BannersThe official convention kick-off begins with our Town Crier ringing the official ABA Town Crier’s bell signaling the beginning of the convention. “Bellatives” (a term coined by Heather Collins Grattan meaning a group of bell collectors) gather in the meeting room and watch the traditional and colorful Parade of Chapter Banners. After greetings from Convention Chairman Mary Anderson and ABA President Sue Wakat, entertainment will consist of an informative presentation on hot air ballooning in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and the International Balloon Museum. The first evening’s event will close with a demonstration of native dances performed by The Cellicion Traditional Zuni Dancers.

On Friday morning, an ABA Business Meeting will be held, followed by educational programs about bells. An announcement of this year’s planned presentations will appear on this website in March. A list of programs from past conventions can be found here. Click on “Educational Programs Given at ABA Conventions” in the ABA Archives box.

Have you ever been to an auction of bells? Saturday is the big day for this six-hour extravaganza! There will be a preview display Friday night and before the auction begins the next morning. Convention attendees will receive a catalog listing of the bells for sale.

Unfinished business will be completed on Sunday morning and the new slate of Officers & District Representatives for 2016-17 will be elected. After lunch, there will be more fun including the announcement of raffle, silent auction, and door prize winners.

The 2016 ABA Conventioneers will ring out the end of another fantastic annual gathering on Sunday evening beginning with a delicious banquet, farewell remarks, installation of new officers, announcement of new Presidential appointees, and fantastic entertainment! Max Krause will be featured with his act, “The Comedy, Magic & Mentalism of Max Krause.” TripAdvisor.com rates his Max Krause’s Magic Theater #4 of 205 things to do in Albuquerque, with #1 being the aerial tramway, #2 the science center/children’s museum, and #3 city tours, making his show the number one entertainment choice!

2016 Convention Bell

2016 Convention BellEach of the 2016 convention bells will be unique. Kelsey Murphy of Studios of Heaven is hand carving each bell, which is made of crystal, cranberry, and white glass. A howling wolf appears on one side, with an Indian pueblo on the opposite side. Prickly pear cacti, a partial moon, and stars complete the design. Each bell will be approximately 5 inches in height, 4 inches in diameter and will have a clapper installed. You will find ABA NEW MEXICO etched inside the bell along with Kelsey’s personal signature.

To help ensure that all ABA members wanting a Kelsey Murphy bell being offered at the low price of $55 will have an opportunity to obtain a 2016 convention bell, the Convention Committee has implemented the following policy:

All convention bell orders received by June 1, 2016, will be filled with one bell in the order received. Orders for additional bells will also be filled in the order received, one bell at a time each time through the dated list. All orders subject to availability (between 100 and 110 bells will be available). We feel this policy is fair, due to the enchantingly low price of this exquisite one-of-a-kind bell.

Bell auctionBell Auction

The Convention Auction will be held on Saturday, June 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A maximum of 300 bells or bell-related items will be accepted. Each item will have a minimum value of $25. A catalog of auction items will be available at registration. All bells to be auctioned will be available for previewing for an hour on Friday evening and again on Saturday morning.

Bell Raffle & Silent Auction

A variety of bells and bell-related objects have been donated to the bell raffle and silent auction. The items will be displayed in the Exhibit Room. Raffle tickets will be for sale by ABA volunteers. The silent auction items will also be in the Exhibit Room and will have bid sheets on clipboards. The winners will be announced after lunch on Sunday.

(Click image to enlarge)

Tours & Convention Entertainment

Pre-Convention Tour #1, Tuesday, June 21 – $30

Santa Fe – ride the Rail Runner to Santa Fe and visit museums, restaurants, art galleries, churches, historical buildings, and a variety of shops.

mary-Rail_RunnerDepart the Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa via bus at 9:00 am for the Downtown Albuquerque Rail Runner station for a train ride through small towns and Indian pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley to Santa Fe. Founded in 1610, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in our country. Activities of your choice from our arrival at 11:16 a.m. until we leave on the train again at 5:05 pm can include visiting excellent museums, restaurants, art galleries, and going shopping for everything from Indian arts and crafts such as rugs, jewelry, Kachina dolls, pottery, beadwork, and sand paintings to t-shirts and southwestern souvenirs, to fine western wear clothing. An expecially popular attraction is the “Miraculous Spiral Staircase” in the Loretto Chapel.

Glass Blowing at Prairie Dog Glass Blowing

(Requires signup) To get there, ABA members can take a 20-minute bus ride from the Plaza in Santa Fe to the Jackalope Artisan Complex and Prairie Dog Glass Blowing for $1 one-way or $2 for all day. A cab will cost about $20 one way. Participants are responsible for getting to Prairie Dog Glass Blowing and back to the train station at their own expense. Our train will arrive back in Albuquerque at 6:25 pm, and we will return by bus from the train depot to our hotel.

To sign up for a glass blowing class, contact Nancy at glassblowing@americanbell.org. Observers are welcome.

Objects that can be blown in addition to bells include paperweights, flowers, pumpkins, fluted bowls, fluted bases, hanging ornaments, a chili pepper, and a heart. Items cost $45 and up (blowing a bell will be $65) plus shipping (the glass needs to cool overnight). Shipping varies from $10-$30, depending on weight, distance, and insurance.

A recent review from TripAdvisor.com:

“Glass Blowing Lesson with My Daughters” – What a great, fun experience! Patrick was amazing and a great instructor. Our pieces were even good enough to display and admit that “I made that in Santa Fe.” We videoed each of us making our piece and that was really cool to look at later. A wonderful memory of our trip. Highly recommend when you are in Santa Fe. Visited September 2015”.

Pre-Convention Tour #2, Wednesday, June 22 – $20

mary-Abq_Old_TownIndian Pueblo Cultural Center – a unique repository of information about the history, art, and culture of New Mexico’s 19 American pueblos.

Depart our hotel at 8:30 am by bus for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Our guided tour will take approximately an hour, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. The bus will take us back to the hotel at 10:30 am.


The remainder of Wednesday will be free for individual exploration of Old Town Albuquerque. Founded in 1706, Old Town is not quite as old as Santa Fe, but it features the same wonderful variety of museums, restaurants, art galleries, and shopping. We will have a FREE shuttle from our hotel to Old Town leaving the hotel every hour on the hour, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. It will leave Old Town to return to the hotel on the half hour, 11:30 am to 4:30 pm. The convention committee hopes this arrangement will allow those with meetings along with early arrivals and new arrivals waiting for their room an opportunity to enjoy Old Town.

Entertainment Information to “Enchant” You

Welcoming Reception, Thursday Evening – A speaker from the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum will speak about hot air ballooning, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and the museum. The Cellicion Traditional Zuni Dancers, an internationally renowned dance troupe will perform three different dances, each one requiring a change of regalia. The director of the group, Fernando Cellicion, will narrate each dance. Mr. Cellicion will also play selections on his native flute.

The entertainment after the banquet on Sunday evening, June 26, at 9 p.m., features “The Comedy, Magic, & Mentalism of Max Krause.” TripAdvisor rates his Max Krause’s Magic Theatre #4 of 205 things to do in Albuquerque, with #1 the aerial tramway, #2 the science center/children’s museum, and #3 city tours, making his show the number one entertainment choice. Max is known for customizing his show for his clients, plenty of audience participation, and he will include some effects that use bells.

The Cellicion Traditional Zuni Dancers

Bells are included on their costumes for a variety of dances. This great entertainment includes a flute player.


To continue the enchantment during the convention, three contests will be held:

balloon-costumeHot Air Balloon Contest

Wear your most colorful, funniest, or most enchanting Hot Air Balloon costume to Thursday’s Welcome Reception. Let your imaginations fly! For inspiration, go here to see many images of hot air balloon costumes!

Dress as Your Indian Spirit Guide Costume Contest

On Friday, dress as your Indian Spirit. Your costume could be the best animal representation, the most enchanting spirit guide, or the best animal spirit hat. Check out this list of Animal Spirits and their descriptions. Click here for even more ideas and information. Use your imagination!

Bell Jewelry Extravaganza!

We’ll fill the air with the sounds of tinkling bells – pins, tie clasps, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc., on Sunday morning through lunch. This contest is open to men, women, and registered guests.

A winner will be chosen in each of three categories:

  • jewelry that makes the loudest bell noise;
  • the most innovative use of jewelry;
  • bells that make the most enchanting music.

Saturday Game Night

Let’s have even more fun, camaraderie, and ‘bell talk’ on Saturday night after the bell auction! The Convention Committee has planned a variety of games to play (“Pin the Clapper on a Bell”?) as well as a contest to decorate a bell. There will be prizes!

Game nightFor the Decorate a Bell contest, plastic and hard foam bell forms, decorations and means of attachment will be supplied. But, start gathering your own decoration items (trinkets, ribbon, buttons, beads, stickers, fake jewels or anything else you have on hand and bring them with you.

Come and play Heads or Tails, Charades, or Bunko. Play a game of dominoes, cards, or board games with others. Bring a game of your own, if you wish. Or just be an observer.

Have a “Bell of a Good Chime” in Albuquerque!

A list of “Things to Do” in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas will be posted on this website soon. In the meantime, you may want to look at www.visitalbuquerque.org and look at their list of “Things to Do.”

(Just in case anyone is interested, a list of casinos in New Mexico can be found here.)

Educational Programs & Meetings

Educational Programs

  • A Journey into Bell Collecting – Marilyn Grismere, presenter
  • Bears, Bells, & Bear Bells – Rhonda Galle, presenter
  • Creating a Bell Chapter Website – Troy Orem, presenter
  • Eek After Bell = Belleek – Joan Elliott, presenter
  • Foreign Patriotic Bells – Alan Burgdorf, presenter
  • Making the 2016 Convention Bell – Kelsey Murphy Video
  • Metal Bells—One Collection Leads to Another – Nancy Kirk, presenter
  • Riccio – Arlene Foreman, presenter
  • The Company They Keep – Collins & Arnold Families, presenters

General Sessions & Meetings

  • Thursday, June 23 – 7:00 pm – Welcome Meeting – Sandia Ballroom V
  • Friday, June 24 – 9:00 am – Opening Ceremonies – Sandia Ballroom V
  • Sunday, June 26 – 9:00 am – Meet with your District Representatives – Location TBA
  • Sunday, June 26 – 10:15 am – Business Meeting – Sandia Ballroom V

Executive Board & Committee Meetings

Wednesday, June 22
  • 1st Convention Standing Committee – 4:30 – 6:00 pm – Agave
  • Budget Committee – 6:00 – 6:30 pm – Pinon
  • 1st Executive Board – 7:30 – 9:30 pm – Sage Boardroom
Thursday, June 23
  • Charter, Bylaws & Standing Rules Committee – 8:45 – 9:45 am – Sage Boardroom
  • First Timers & Welcome Letter Writers – 9:00 – 9:45 am – Pinon
  • 2nd Executive Board – 10:00 – 12:00 pm – Sage Boardroom
  • Executive Committee – 2:30 – 4:00 pm – Ocotillo Room I-II
  • Bell Tower Standing Committee – 4:15 – 5:45 pm – Ocotillo Room I-II
  • Nominating Committee – 4:30 – 5:30 pm – Pinon
  • 2nd Convention Standing Committee – 8:46 – 9:45 pm – Agave
  • Audit Committee – 8:45 – 9:45 pm – Location TBA
  • Membership Expansion Committee – 8:45 – 9:45 pm – Pinon
Friday, June 24
  • Host & Hostess Meeting – 8:15 – 8:45 am – Pinon
Sunday, June 26
  • New Executive Board Meeting – 4:00 – 5:30 pm – Sage Boardroom

Albuquerque and Santa Fe Sights to See

A downloadable Guide to Albuquerque Museums & Attractions may be found at www.ItsATrip.org/museums .

New Mexico sights to see, including Culture & Art, Parks & Outdoors, History, Travel, Museums, and Monuments, may be found at www.newmexico.gov/visitor .

Acknowledgements & Reminders

Convention Chairman Mary Anderson wishes to acknowledge the work of Hotel Coordinator Gary Childress with a BIG THANK YOU! for negotiating an improved contract for the 2016 ABA Convention!


  • Work on your contest entries – June will be here before you know it.
  • Bring your CHECK BOOK for the Auction.
  • Bring some return ADDRESS LABELS for your Raffle Tickets.
  • Be sure and double check you have everything before leaving.
  • Glassblowing Opportunity – Send an email to: glassblowing@americanbell.org.
  • ABA Registration Questions – Send an email to: 2016reg@americanbell.org (no hotel questions please.)
  • President Sue Wakat reminds people to remember to bring a Bell to Ring.
  • If you are scheduled for a Hot Air Balloon ride, send your name, flight number, and name of balloon company to: marge.edwards@java.net for an information list to be displayed at registration.