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Calling All Super Heroes!
CFC 2004 Swings Into Action at NIH

By Jane DeMouy

On the Front Page...

Coming Wednesday, Oct. 6 to a tent near you: NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni will be calling all hands to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Well, maybe not exactly.

What he will be saying as he officially launches the NIH Combined Federal Campaign is that NIH'ers can become heroes to people who need their help. "Be a Super Hero! You Have the Power to Help" is the 2004 slogan, and faster than a speeding bullet, well-known super heroes will be popping up around campus, at Executive Blvd. and 2 Democracy in coming months. Expect frequent sightings of the Man of Steel, the Web Swinger and the Caped Crusader (a.k.a. Batman).


No, it's not a comic book, but the CFC "Catalog of Caring," which lists all potential recipients of your gift contributions.

"Everybody who works at NIH gets a once-a-year chance to be as modest as Clark Kent, as stalwart as Spiderman and as intrepid as Batman," says Zerhouni. "Be a hero by pledging your support to the charity of your choice and challenge a friend or a colleague to be a hero, too. When we combine the power of the NIH community, we truly have superhuman strength to offer to others. Last year, the people of NIH contributed $1.7 million to some 3,000 charities."

Zerhouni will rally hundreds of deputy and assistant coordinators and keyworkers invited to a lunchtime celebration on the rear lawn of the Natcher Bldg. The event is an advance thank-you to the workers who make the campaign possible and help to ensure its success.

"Super heroes are people with large hearts. Our coordinators and keyworkers are among the first rank of those special people. We couldn't get this campaign off the ground without them," says NIDDK director Dr. Allen Spiegel. NIDDK will lead the fund-raising campaign this year.

Organizers of the kick-off event are putting some KAZAAAM! into the midday celebration. Putting on the Ritz will cater lunch for the party, with music from super hero movies provided by jazz musician Glenn Pearson and his group. And yes, super heroes will attend, although none are expected to fly in.

Other highlights include brief remarks by Spiegel and the comments of Pat Shannon, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. Representatives from 15 other community organizations will man exhibits and provide information on their work for CFC volunteers.

There's POW! for participants in the campaign, too. Any donor contributing at least $26 will be eligible for prizes such as a trip anywhere in the U.S. CFC volunteers may win a $250 gift certificate for a shopping spree at a local mall, movie tickets or dinner for two at Bethesda's Europa Restaurant. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the year when the campaign concludes.

"Last year, the people of NIH cared, and as a result, kids were protected from abuse, local schools got much-needed supplements, soup kitchens sustained the cold and the hungry, dancers went on dancing and youth orchestras went on playing. I think we can do it again in 2004," says Zerhouni.

All CFC volunteers are invited to get into the swing of this year's launch. Look for the white tent on the rear lawn of Natcher on Oct. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Capes and tights are optional.

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