NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NIH’ers Show Creativity in CFC Virtual Halloween Charity Fair, Mask Contest

A Zoom gallery featuring NIHer's who attended the CFC Halloween Charity Fair and mask contest.
NIH’ers displayed their artistic talents and dramatic flair during the recent CFC Halloween Charity Fair and mask contest.
Francine Hiltbrand models her contest-winning bejeweled mask.
CC’s Francine Hiltbrand took home 1st place in the mask contest
Garzon-Velez and his dog pose with their their Star Trek-inspired masks
FIC’s Leo Garzon-Velez and his dog Spark finished in 2nd place.
Gibson models her mask depicting a dog and cat
Lauren Gibson of CSR finished in 3rd place

NIH’ers displayed their artistic talents and dramatic flair during the recent CFC Halloween Charity Fair and mask contest, which was held virtually for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. Eight courageous teams entered the competition, which had a superheroes theme.

The CC’s Francine Hiltbrand emerged victorious, winning first place for her bejeweled mask representing CC staff and all medical professionals fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. FIC’s Leo Garzon-Velez and his dog Sparky came in second with their Star Trek-inspired masks intended to represent that the sky is the limit for the CFC. Third place went to Lauren Gibson of CSR for her mask depicting the dog and cat that keep her company while teleworking, representing all of the CFC animal welfare charities that federal employees can support.

Additional entries to the contest included Syreeta Evans of NIMH and her family with masks that signified the emotions of disgust, sadness and happiness to express their feeling throughout the different phases of the pandemic. 

Next was the duo, Dora Deegbe and Aziz Karawa ‘Z’ of NLM, whose unique masks were a nod to data scientists at NIH. 

Matt Houle of NIDA wore a “supergirl” mask to represent his daughter and emphasize the importance of teaching the concept of giving from a young age. Steve Peterson of ORS wore an inventive costume representing the different tools that the Covid-19 car-line testing group uses to highlight the importance of their work fighting the pandemic at NIH. Lastly, Barbara Mulach of NIAID wore a colorful mask to represent the essential workers who have kept the world running throughout the pandemic. 

FIC—the lead for this year’s CFC campaign—supplied the contest judges including Dexter Collins as “Captain CFC,” Alisha Sutton as “Sylvie” and Jonathan Deane as “Loki.” The event was hosted by Debra Gale, NIH CFC program manager, and Monica Hanson, CFC team and charity lead.

The proceedings also highlighted four CFC charities, including Medstreet, a local nonprofit that brings medical care to those without housing, and the Becky Love Foundation, which provides grief counseling and support for families who have lost a loved one to suicide. 

The United Way National Capital Area Chapter joined the group along with D.C. Central Kitchen, a well-known charity that provides living-wage jobs, serves healthy meals in D.C. schools and provides produce to stores in neighborhoods where fresh fruits and vegetables are not accessible. 

Representatives from each organization shared their missions and expressed gratitude for donations made through the CFC.

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The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Assistant Editor: Eric Bock (link sends e-mail)

Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)