On Wednesday, Oct. 31, representatives from Hope College and leaders from local businesses will engage in a long-standing tradition of visiting more than 200 area businesses in Holland and Zeeland seeking contributions to the Hope Fund for the 2007-08 Community Campaign.

The Hope Fund has been in existence for almost as long as HopeCollege 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 those receiving personal visits on campaign day, hundreds more businesses and friends of HopeCollege will receive letters encouraging a contribution.

"The Community Campaign encourages area businesses to be involved with every student, every day at Hope through their unrestricted contributions to Hope College," explained Mark DeWitt, Hope's director of corporate and foundation relations.  "This campaign acknowledges the relationship between HopeCollege and our neighboring communities and demonstrates the value to one another.  Hope is grateful for business and industry participation in this effort through financial and volunteer partnerships."

Tony Castillo, owner of Milagro Six/McDonalds and current chair of the Holland Chamber of Commerce, is serving as chairperson this year.  He values the relationship between Hope and area businesses and is pleased to be heading this fundraising effort as a friend of the college and a community leader.

"When I arrived in Holland, I found so many wonderful dimensions to the city, one of which is Hope College," Castillo said.  "Hope is truly one of the gems in our community and a symbol of excellence."

Revenue from the Hope Fund provides unrestricted operational support that benefits every Hope student.  It also underwrites health, counseling and career services, assists in bringing world-renowned artists, authors, musicians and lecturers to campus and generates service opportunities for its students.  Financial support of the Community Campaign and the Hope Fund makes available resources that enhance the academic mission of Hope College.