The dining service program at Hope College has received two first-place awards in the 28th annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards contest of the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS).

Hope won first place awards for catering for the "Presidential Ball" held on Saturday, Sept. 23, in conjunction with the college's Homecoming activities, and the Christmas "Madrigal Dinner" held on Friday-Saturday, Dec. 8-9.

All of the contest's award recipients will be recognized on Friday, July 13, during the association's 43rd annual national conference, to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Presidential Ball was sponsored by the college's student-run Social Activities Committee (SAC), and the Madrigal Dinner by the college's department of music.  Catering for both events was planned and implemented by staff of the college's dining service, which is operated by Creative Dining Services of Zeeland.

The Presidential Ball--in its second year--featured the Homecoming theme of "Let's Go to the Movies," and was held at the college's Haworth Inn and Conference Center. The event was set up like a movie premiere, complete with red carpet and valet parking, and the ball room was decorated with old-fashioned movie projectors, popcorn boxes and other movie paraphernalia. Film shorts and Charlie Chaplain movies played while those attending danced and enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, punch and gourmet coffee.

The entry packet for the contest was prepared by Lucy Jongekrijg, who is catering manager for the college's Haworth Inn and Conference Center and dining services manager for Cook Hall.

Held annually by the department of music for several years, the Madrigal Dinner features members of the Collegium Musicum singing and performing as members of the court of King Henry VIII, with members of the audience joining as distinguished guests. The evening's Renaissance theme carries through the entertainment and the menu alike.

The catering staff decorated the dinner's Maas Center venue to re-create a castle's grand feasting hall, complete with tapestries and suits of armor. Candlelight and buffets constructed of cut stone helped lend atmosphere, and the wait staff worked costumed in monks' robes and serf garb.

The entry packet for the contest was prepared by Tim Blackburn, who is catering manager at Hope, and Chef Tom Hoover, CCC.

Bob Van Heukelom, director of dining services at Hope, noted that he was pleased with not only the quality of the events that were recognized, but with the inter- departmental interaction that marked them.

"I was very pleased with the work done both by Lucy and her staff and Tim and his staff," he said. "And I was especially happy to see the collaboration between the dining services department, the music department and student activities this year."

The Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards contest was designed 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 association.

NACUFS is a trade association for campus dining departments at institutions of higher education in the United States, Canada and abroad. NACUFS is devoted to promoting the highest quality of food service, and supports its institutional and industry members with education, training, technical assistance, information, scholarships and research.