Pastor banks for HOPE

For some Ashlanders, Christopher Schwartzenberger is the man pulling their morning espresso at Starbucks. More know him as an associate pastor of Rogue Valley Community Church and campus minister for Southern Oregon University.

Schwartzenberger, 27, is one of 24 men raising money for a teaching hospital in Sihanouk, Cambodia.

"Hoops for Hope" is a basketball marathon hosted by Portland Church of Christ and HOPE World Wide that Schwartzenberger will be playing in, March 20. Twenty-four players play 12 games within 12 hours. The goal of the event is to raise $12,000. All proceeds will be sent to the Sihanouk Hospital Center for Hope.

"It's is one of a kind," Schwartzenberger said, "not only have millions been helped by the hospital but many doctors and nurses been trained."

HOPE World Wide is an international charity focused on aiding the sick and impoverished across the globe. Founded in 1991, HOPE is partners with the International Church of Christ. "Hoops for Hope" is being sponsored by the Portland Church of Christ.

As a leader of Rogue Valley Community Church, Schwartzenberger would like to see HOPE come to Ashland. HOPE donated approximately $2 million to Haiti Relief, Schwartzenberger said, adding that the group is also eager to provide aid to small communities in poverty.

"HOPE has the ability to organize help and funds and stay to complete the job," Schwartzenberger said.

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