Hope College has won a third place award in the 25th annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Contest sponsored by the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS).

          Hope was honored in the "Small School" section in
  the "Residence Hall Dining Special Event-Theme Dinner"
  competition.  The award was presented during the
  association's 40th national conference, held in Anaheim,
  Calif., on Tuesday-Saturday, July 7-11.
          Hope was recognized for its "Florida Citrus Beach
  Blast," held in the college's Phelps Hall dining hall in
  March, about a week before the start of Hope's spring break.
          The "Florida Citrus Beach Blast" featured food,
  activities and decorations revolving around a Florida theme.
  The meal included fried shrimp, orange cake and a meatball
  kabob with Florida citrus sauce; and a "beach hut" built in
  the hall featured grills with grouper sandwiches.  Rented
  ficus trees were adorned with oranges; other decorations
  included giant seahorses, trees and dolphins made from
  balloons; one of the chefs sculpted an alligator and
  flamingo from ice.  Students won prizes in a sandcastle-
  building contest staged on the main floor, or in a "velcro
  golf" game.
          Supported by the Florida Citrus Council and
  presented annually, the dinner was part of a monthly series
  of major themed dinners that the college's food service
  presents between September and April.  According to Bob Van
  Heukelom, director of dining services at Hope, the series is
  part of an effort to keep mealtime interesting for a
  clientele that might visit as many as 21 times a week.
          "As good a job as we do, and I think we do a
  better job than anybody as far as having quality and variety
  goes--dining on-campus can become monotonous for students,"
  he said.
          The other monthly events include an "Oktoberfest"
  and dinners with Thanksgiving and Christmas themes.  Van
  Heukelom noted that the monthly bashes are complemented with
  smaller weekly "pace changers" as well, such as a dinner
  featuring a baked potato bar.
          The Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Contest
  presented prizes in seven major categories, including not
  only special theme dinners but topics such as "Residence
  Hall Dining Standard Menu" and "Catering Special Event."
  Each school competed by size:  small, medium or large.  In
  addition to offering first, second and third prizes within
  each size grouping for all seven categories, the contest
  named a grand prize winner for each of the seven categories.
          A total of 126 entries were submitted.  There were
  49 award winners.
          The contest, which draws entries from NACUFS-
  member institutions throughout the United States as well as
  abroad, was created to promote creativity and sound
  nutrition in the areas of food presentation, menu variety
  and merchandising.  The event is named for Loyal E. Horton,
  a former NACUFS president and founding member of the
          NACUFS is the only higher education association in
  the United States devoted exclusively to promoting the
  highest quality of food service at member institutions.
  NACUFS supports its institutional and industry members with
  education, training, technical assistance, industry
  information, scholarships and research support.