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“It’s a good way to donate and get something for it.” These were the words of Army Capt. Janeen Mathies as she persuaded passersby to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Charity Fair Extravaganza, Jan. 8 in the America Building atrium.

Mathies, chief of physical readiness training service at Walter Reed Bethesda, was campaign coordinator for 2013’s medical center CFC. She coordinated keyworker training and other activities for the campaign with a goal of ensuring that everyone eligible to contribute to CFC were contacted and given the chance to do so.

“The silent auction is an opportunity to raise funds and awareness about CFC,” added Chief Hospital Corpsman Lisa Hovde, another campaign coordinator. She called the auction the campaign’s “last bash to generate funds.”

Although this year’s drive officially ended yesterday, more information about CFC is available at www.cfctoday.org, and http://www.opm.gov/cfc/html/cfc_hist.asp.

Last week’s CFC charity fair at Walter Reed Bethesda included themed baskets donated by departments in the medical center. Baskets were auctioned off to the highest bidder with proceeds going to CFC, Mathies explained.

Brenda Harper, a Defense Health Agency employee, helped out the worthy cause by placing a bid on the “relaxation basket” donated by the Behavioral Health Department. “I’m bidding on this basket for my brother,” she said. “There are some good things in here so my plan is to wait around and be the last to bid on it so that I win.”

For more than 50 years, CFC has been a vehicle for federal, postal and military employees to make charitable donations to approved organizations under the CFC umbrella, making it the largest, most successful and only approved workplace charity campaign in the federal government. Over the years, federal employees have donated billions of dollars to eligible charities. Since its inception in 1964, the CFC has raised $7 billion to help charities assist those in need throughout the world, according to CFC officials.

Last year, Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical raised approximately $314,000, according to Air Force Lt. Col. Angela Thompson, JTF CapMed’s 2012 CFC campaign manager. Walter Reed Bethesda raised approximately $191,000; Fort Belvoir Community Hospital raised nearly $87,000; and the Joint Pathology Center raised nearly $23,000.

More information concerning CFC is also available at http://www.cfcnca.org.