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Despite fears of a looming “fiscal cliff” and sequestration, the Dahlgren/Ft. A.P. Hill Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) not only met but exceeded its 2012 goal, netting $446,619 in donations to thousands of charities. The goal for the combined bases was $425,000.

The campaign, which began September 1, was extended past its traditional, OPM-mandated deadline of Dec. 15 to Dec. 31 in an effort to increase donations. While the extended deadline undoubtedly helped with fundraising, the base goal had already been met before the extension was announced.

“There's no way we could've accomplished such a monumental feat without the help of so many great volunteers,” said Jeron Hayes, 2012 Dahlgren CFC Chair. “Throughout the commands at Dahlgren and Ft. A.P. Hill, we have a large group of active, vital volunteers that work so hard to get the word out about CFC. Their efforts have been rewarded with the extraordinary amount raised this year.”

CFC volunteers gathered on Dec. 11 to honor their own, participating in a Volunteer Celebration that recognized all Dahlgren and Ft. A.P. Hill planning committee members and keyworkers, as well as recipients of CFC Hero Awards.

Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) Command Master Chief James Honea welcomed the group and thanked them for their service. “Part of my job is to support young military members as they navigate their way through the U.S. Navy. I know there are many programs in CFC that provide support for them as well as their family members, and military members around the world. Because you take the time to inform our work force about these organizations, our military members receive what they need to help them be the best Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines they can be,” said CMC Honea.

Meghann Cotter, a representative from Micah Ecumenical Ministries, addressed the group as well. Micah, based in Fredericksburg, Va., is a participating agency in the Potomac CFC campaign that benefits directly from donations designated by Dahlgren employees. She told how their program to help the homeless has grown from offering a meal on weekends to securing homes for the homeless, securing jobs and providing the necessities to be able to care for themselves.

Volunteers were commended for their creative ideas for fundraising, including decorating paper snowmen fitted with photos of department heads, chili cook-offs, “jersey days”, bake sales and numerous “Penny Wars” events.

“You're going to receive a piece of paper today, something you can keep as a reminder of your service,” Hayes told the group of volunteers. “Little is printed on it, but if it could, it would tell you that it brings you gratitude from people that received medical care, shelter, food, education and training and general assistance when they really needed it and couldn't otherwise get it. A wounded service member is thanking you for the service dog that has made their life so much easier. A child who might not have gotten a meal thanks you for feeding them. Someone who is ill and couldn't afford medical care thanks you for helping them get better. A family in New Jersey who survived Hurricane Sandy with little more than the clothes on their backs thanks you for shelter against the next storm,” said Hayes.

Awards were presented to Navy Air and Missile Defense Command (NAMDC) as small command and Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC) as large command for achieving the highest percentage of donors based on their command size.

The Dahlgren CFC “Spirit Award” was given to Deltra Davis of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (ABMD). Davis, who was nominated by five different volunteers, was recognized for her amazing spirit and creativity in creating fundraising events and motivating personnel to not only give to CFC, but become involved in the effort to promote it. Davis, who replaced a Navy officer as CFC representative for her command, “stepped up as an involved, creative committee member that rallied the troops and began planning special events and interfacing with her command leadership to determine how best her command could meet and exceed their donation goal. She assists with all facets of base committee events and has worked hard to recruit others from her command to get involved in events and as keyworkers.” Davis is credited with creating a robust Penny Wars competition at ABMD, as well as organizing a command-wide CFC kickoff event along with other special events. Davis was not in attendance at the celebration so that she could coordinate a CFC fundraising event happening at her command at the same time.

Some CFC volunteers also received “Hero Awards” based on nominations by fellow volunteers that recognized employees that went above and beyond in assisting the CFC. Recipients included -

- Bonita Simpson, JWAC employee and long-time CFC volunteer who was credited with retaining many happy keyworkers from year to year and providing creative ideas to increase command fundraising totals despite a large loss of employees;

- Jim Bussert, Camille Ward, Nga Pham and Tiffany Owens, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) G Dept. keyworkers that worked as a team to inform employees of the campaign. They were credited with a “hands-on” approach that included not leaving a pledge form on a desk unless the employee was present, and an individual note of thanks to all employees before they made a decision about giving;

- ABH1 Jesus Vera, NSASP, who served as co-chair of the 2012 committee, was cited for his service on the Local Federal Campaign Committee as well his dependability in helping coordinate logistics for special events;

- FC1 Phillip Wiggins, Aegis Training and Readiness Center sailor who was recognized for being a “dependable, reliable hard working member.” Wiggins was credited with volunteering use of his personal vehicles to transport heavy items for special events and recruiting volunteer military personnel to help with events. “He never hesitated to help with the physical labor required to set-up prior to every CFC Base event. During preparations for the CFC Kick-off events he suggested more efficient and easier ways to unload, lay out and set-up the equipment (tents, tables, chairs).”

- Michael Purello, NSWCDD Z20 department for his creative guidance in the first-ever department Penny Wars competition. Purello was credited with researching the rules, involving department heads and contributing to a fundraiser that earned over $1000

- Brandy Plucker and Jess Mead, NSWCDD Q Dept. employees who provided graphics assistance on multiple successful Q Dept. fundraisers

CFC is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country and internationally to help to raise millions of dollars each year. Pledges made by Federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.