Help Them To Hope Timeline 


Waukegan News-Sun pressmen create the ‘Hope Fund’, an in house collection of left over money from the coffee fund. Tradition has it that the first fund money was given to a widowed wife of a printer.


Bernice Just and F. Ward Just offered with the permission of the pressmen, to take the "Hope Fund" public opening up the Act of Kindness to allow local citizens and businesses to participate.
At this time it was decided that all donations received would continue to help those in need in Lake County.


The Hope Fund, now given a formal name of Help Them To Hope was administered by the publisher and the administrative staff of the publisher and was promoted via the columns written by Bernice Just, a News-Sun columnist, and sister-in-law of F. Ward Just.


The internal administration of Help Them To Hope was placed in the hands of Lucille “Dink” Porett who along with Bernice handled the internal and external promotion of Help Them To Hope. During this time the publisher and News-Sun Promotion Manager. Roy Dupuis arranged for the official photo of the collective group of pressmen responsible for the creation of the Hope Fund.


The Internal Revenue Service and the State of Illinois required all nonprofit organizations to be chartered, thus the 503(c) official nonprofit Help Them To Hope, Inc was created as an independent nonprofit with its own charter. The annual fund campaign picked up considerable momentum with annual funds collected in the thousands of dollars as reported to the IRS and the state annually. Every publisher of the paper became the president of the nonprofit and a board of directors was named.


Lucille “Dink” Porett retired as promotion director and cooking column writer in 1980 and turns over HTTH administration to Bob Amann who administered the annual campaign until the paper was sold in 1984 to Copley Press a California- based newspaper chain headed by Helen Copley.

It was the Copley organization that brought HTTH to its peak of popularity with a total of $61,500 in contributions to the Hope Fund between 1991 and 1999. In addition, Copley picked up all administration costs just as the Just family had done before the sale of the newspaper.

By 1996, the paper had eliminated local publishers and Richard Ribando, general manager of the paper took the reins as president of the Hope board of directors.


Copley Press sold The News-Sun, along with its six suburban Chicago newspapers, to Hollinger International, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times. Hollinger reinstated local publishers to all their Illinois holdings making Ribando publisher of The News-Sun. The Help Them To Hope board of directors continued as its own entity.


Ribando retired as publisher after 38 years of employment at The News-Sun and continued on as board president of Help Them To Hope nonprofit with board members comprised of News-Sun employees. Hollinger by 2009 filed for bankruptcy and the assets of the paper were sold, but Help Them To Hope continued on with a board of directors made up of retired News-Sun employees.


For the most part, the retired employees, along with Barb Swanson, maintained the operations of Help Them To Hope, Inc., with a Website, PayPal account and ownership of its domain name. The board remained in partnership with the Lake County News-Sun with all expenses of the nonprofit paid for through the generosity of its board members.

What began as an original act of kindness thus far has contributed a total of $2,886,494.89 to our neighbors in need in Lake County. Help Them To Hope’s all time high campaign year was $91,000 in 2011.

Sources: From News-Sun articles and board minutes from 1976 to current.

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