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[From left] Lt. Col. James McArthur, the assistant chief of staff for G-3, and Combat Center fire chief Randy Leaser, present a check of $3,435.82 to Allen Hyde, the center’s Combined Federal Campaign coordinator, Oct. 26, 2010 at the base flag pole. The money was raised at the fire department’s annual chili lunch and G-3’s chili cook-off.::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

Chili lunch, cook-off yield big bucks for Combined Federal Campaign

8 Oct 2010 | Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

The season of giving is just around the corner, it is once again the time of year when government employees decide how much of their paychecks they would like to donate to charities through the Combined Federal Campaign.

The CFC provides federal employees with funds to reputable charities. The chance to donate it is also the only non-Department of Defense fundraiser allowed to solicit on federal property.

“Since 1961, federal employees have raised over $6 billion through this campaign to support thousands of charities throughout the country and around the world,” said Hillary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State and honorary chair of the CFC, during a press conference available for viewing on the CFC’s official website

In addition to individual donations, this year, the Combat Center’s CFC office received donations totaling more than $3,000 from the Fire Department and G-3 fundraisers.

The G-3 office held a chili cook off while the Fire Department held a chili lunch at the end of Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4-8.

“It is a good cause, good food. Eat, drink, be merry, and in the end everybody gets something out of it,” said Lt. Col. James McArthur, the assistant chief of staff for G-3, referring to the cook-off. “We would like to just see it build every year.”

It is natural for people to question the validity of organizations asking for money, but all CFC charities have been researched and approved through the government.

“The federal government has approved certain organizations to solicit for CFC aboard military instillations, said Allen Hyde, the installation’s CFC coordinator. “All charities are approved by the Office of Personnel Management, meaning the charities can’t even be in the booklet without the OPM’s approval.”

Hyde said the Combat Center has a strong history of making a difference with the CFC.

“Last year alone in the Coachella Valley, between the civilian employees, postal workers, and military personnel, there was $309,000 donated,” Hyde said. “Of that $309,000 donated last year, $208,000 came from the Combat Center. The Combat Center itself gives a big part, and the good thing about it is that most of the $208,000 stayed in the Coachella Valley.”

With expectations set by last year’s generosity, and in the spirit of giving, Hyde said he hopes to see even more Marines donate funds this year.

The Combat Center’s official goal is to receive donations from at least 50 percent of the center’s personnel.

However, Hyde said he is setting his sights even higher.

“I would like to see 100 percent donations from the Combat Center,” Hyde said. “That means if you can only give $2, then give $2. We have about 13,000 Marines on base, and if every Marine gave $2, that’s $26,000 for charity.”

For more information on the CFC or how to make donations, contact your section CFC representative or call Hyde at 830-7426.

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