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Goal Surpassed Again
CFC Raises Record Amount in Difficult Year

By Don Luckett

Photos by Bill Branson

Despite many difficulties, the NIH 2002 Combined Federal Campaign ended on a high note: Employees pledged a record $1.63 million to CFC charities — 116 percent of this year's goal, with a participation rate of 53 percent. As a result, many awards were handed out at the Feb. 5 CFC awards ceremony in Wilson Hall, which was packed with CFC deputy coordinators, assistant coordinators and others who played key roles in the campaign.

NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni addresses CFC volunteers.

NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni told the crowd he was touched by the way NIH'ers were "willing to help at a time when other people are hurting...Nothing happens without champions, and you all are champions." He thanked CSR director Dr. Ellie Ehrenfeld for leading the successful campaign, and CSR Executive Officer Chris Wisdom and her staff for coordinating it. He also encouraged CFC workers to tell those back at their institute or center how much their pledges are appreciated.

CSR director Dr. Ellie Ehrenfeld addresses CFC workers.

Ehrenfeld noted that things didn't look so promising when the campaign began last September on the Natcher lawn. "Besides the rain," she said, "the campaign was threatened by economic uncertainties and disturbing reports about the United Way, which is the fiscal steward of the CFC." She thanked the crowd for "focusing on the good things CFC charities do and for keeping the spirit and momentum of the campaign positive and strong...NIH employees responded with great generosity."

Ehrenfeld also cited a recent Washington Post article that reported United Way contributions from the private sector were only a third of what they were last year, and that CFC campaigns at other local agencies were averaging just 90 percent of last year's collection. "Our campaign has thus been a wonderful exception," she said. "NIH can be very proud."

Ehrenfeld gives Chris Wisdom a hand for coordinating this year's CFC for NIH.

Wisdom concluded the ceremony with a musical PowerPoint presentation covering the highlights of the 2002 NIH CFC. When she got to the slide for the last week of the campaign, she played a rock-and-roll classic that's been popular since its 1959 release, the Isley Brothers' "Shout."

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