|NIH Breaks Giving
Combined Federal Campaign Raises $1.9 Million
The weather outside was frightful — the beginning of a
predicted 6 inches of snow created a white blur outside the windows
of Wilson Hall on the final day of February. But inside, it might
have been the Fourth of July.
The CFC awards ceremony put on by NIDDK, the lead institute for
the 2004 campaign, was full of warm cheer and festooned with bouquets
of red, white and blue balloons and red and blue starburst centerpieces
on round tables. Scattered stars sparkled on spanking white tablecloths.
NIH staff who contributed to this year's record-breaking helping
hand to the needy watched a video scrapbook of campaign events
before taking their seats at 10 a.m. They were invited to hear
congratulations from Dr. Allen Spiegel, NIDDK director and vice-chair
of the NIH campaign, NIH director and CFC chair Dr. Elias Zerhouni
and HRSA administrator Dr. Betty Duke, vice-chair of the HHS-wide
||Dr. Allen Spiegel (l), Barbara
Merchant (second from l), and Dr. Elias Zerhouni were happy
to receive a Million Dollar Circle award from HHS’s CFC
vice-chair Dr. Betty Duke of HRSA.
Spiegel described invitees as "a small army" whose collective
power provided hope for the future to many disadvantaged members
of the surrounding community. "You helped NIH to a banner year," he
The 2004 campaign was one for the record books. Not only did NIH
set a new record, but also every IC raised more than 100 percent
of its goal. For the first time, all NCI divisions went over 100
percent. NIH reached 100 percent of its goal in the ninth week
of the campaign — another first — and went on to raise
"Our goal was $1.46 million, and you raised $1.9 million," Zerhouni
reported. "It's the only budget goal we've exceeded," he added,
provoking a laugh from the crowd. "There is no better statement
about the nature and culture of an institution than its generosity.
I can only feel warm-hearted about being among such caring people."
|NIH CFC Manager Barbara Merchant (r) called assistant Debi
Anderson “a Wonder Woman” for her help during the
campaign. Now Anderson has the outfit to prove it.
||Burton Goldstein and M.G. thank CFC awardees
for support of National Capital Therapy Dogs and 3,199 other
He described an experience that made the CFC "very personal" for
him. On a snowy night in Bethesda, the NIH director and a friend
came upon a homeless man shivering at the edge of a parking lot.
Attendants refused him shelter in their booth, and the man had
nowhere to go. After speaking with him, Zerhouni called for help.
A car arrived to pick the man up, and one of the CFC charities
found him shelter from the storm through the weekend. "We are surrounded
by people who want our help, who need our help," Zerhouni said. "Because
of the CFC, there was help for him."
NIDDK communications director and ceremony emcee Betsy Singer
confessed one failure in the course of the campaign. In spite of
her best efforts, she had been unable to convince Spiegel and Zerhouni
to don tights and capes to promote the Super Hero campaign theme.
|Betsy Singer (r) accepts a trophy for “superlative” campaign
coverage from Dr. Betty Duke on behalf of NIDDK.
"You are the ones who should be wearing the Super Hero outfits," Zerhouni
told the crowd. In introducing HRSA's Duke, Zerhouni noted that
if the task of NIH was to create new knowledge, Duke's agency delivered
that knowledge to 12.5 million people across the U.S. through its
grants and programs. When Duke in turn praised NIH for producing
44 percent of the department's $4 million goal, a balloon behind
her popped, as if on cue. The crowd loved it, and Duke promised
to pay off her "sound man" in the morning. She then presented a
Million Dollar Circle award to NIH's CFC leaders, and awarded NIDDK
a trophy for superlative campaign coverage.
Burton Goldstein of National Capital Therapy Dogs took the floor
next with his canine partner, M.G., a 6-year-old Shih Tzu, speaking
on behalf of the CFC's 3,200 charities. The veteran volunteer moved
the audience with the story of a Clinical Center patient who first
allowed M.G. to sit on her lap and then slowly began to hug the
dog warmly. After some prompting from Goldstein and a bit of struggling
with her memory, she told him the names of four dogs she had at
home. He later learned that these were the first words the catatonic
woman had spoken since entering the CC some months before. "This
is the kind of thing these dogs can do," he explained, "and we
live off your contributions."
Dr. Griffin Rodgers, deputy director of NIDDK, and Barbara Merchant,
executive officer and coordinator of the 2004 campaign, then recognized
ICs whose generosity contributed significantly to NIH's record-breaking
total. Beginning with the President's Award, which went to those
who achieved at least 75 percent participation or a per capita
gift of $275, the presenters gave out Chairman's Awards, Honor
Awards and Merit Awards to recognize ICs achieving significant
participation or per capita contributions.
Finally, Merchant thanked her fellow executive officers for their
energy and enthusiasm. She ended by honoring Randy Schools, president
of the Recreation and Welfare Association, as well as campaign
facilitator Kristin Oliver and the NIDDK team who managed hundreds
of details from her office. She had special praise for her assistant,
Debi Anderson — a "real Wonder Woman" — to whom she
gave a costume to match the sentiment, "complete with boot covers
and headband." It remains to be seen if the costume will surface
at the 2005 CFC Halloween party.
The snow fell faster as the party wound down, but it did nothing
to dampen the spirits of the fundraisers. They swear they're primed
for another go at record-breaking in 2005. A slide show of the
ceremony is available at http://cfc.nih.gov.
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