On Wednesday, Nov. 5, representatives from Hope College and volunteers from local businesses will engage in a long-standing tradition of visiting more than 250 area businesses in Holland and Zeeland seeking contributions to the Hope Fund for the 2003-04 Community Campaign.The campaign is being chaired by Jack Bouman, who is president and general manager of Woodland Realty with offices in Holland, Zeeland, Saugatuck and Grand Haven. He has supported the Hope College Community Campaign for many years.

"Woodland Realty is in the business of transferring families into the Holland area. The campus of Hope College is always proudly presented to our clients, as well as the positive economic impact that Hope has on the area. Less apparent, but equally important, the faculty, administration and students of the college reflect the integrity and spiritual foundation of our community," he said. "The name Hope is an umbrella under which entrepreneurs and leaders of this community are developed and then continue to support the college. DePree, Maas, Haworth, Van Wylen and DeVos are only a few area leaders and familiar names partnering with Hope College."

Bouman is approaching 30 years in the real estate business, including residential and commercial sales, in addition to being involved in numerous developments. He has a strong commitment to the community and has served in a leadership capacity on many boards and is an active fundraiser for area charities and organizations. He strongly believes in investing his time and financial support in our community. He is a past winner of the Small Business Person of The Year Award and The Athena Award, and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by his real estate peers.

The Hope Fund has been in existence for almost as long as Hope College itself. The Community Campaign on behalf of the Hope Fund began nearly 30 years ago as a way to engage community leaders with Hope faculty and staff in building and maintaining relationships between the community and the college.In addition to personal visits on campaign day, hundreds more businesses and friends of Hope College will receive letters encouraging a contribution. The Hope Fund manager, Susan Feldkamp, estimates that more than 800 businesses will be contacted.

"Over 3,400 Hope graduates remain in the West Michigan area, enriching its workforce and providing income for area businesses and service providers. Many hold leadership positions in local business and industry," she said. "Hope College cherishes the strong partnerships formed between the college and local businesses over the years - a huge benefit to everyone in this community."

Revenue from the Hope Fund has traditionally discounted tuition for every student making it more affordable. The fund underwrites a host of student services, from health and counseling to career services; assists in bringing world-renowned artists, authors, musicians and lecturers to campus; provides opportunities for students to become involved in service, such as CASA, the Children's After School Achievement Program; and provides unrestricted dollars that not only keep the lights on and the snow plowed, but also support and enhance the academic mission of Hope College.