Fund drive leaders emphasize contributing money and time

The chair and vice-chair of Dayton’s 2018 Ohio Combined Federal Campaign, Dayton District are looking forward to a successful campaign, and emphasize that it is about more than just money.

“The charities are not only looking for contributions to better their causes, but they inspire volunteers,” said Joe Nalepka, chief of the Supervisory Control and Cognition Branch, 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory, and this year’s CFC vice-chair. “It’s more than just money. It’s the opportunity to consider donating our time and give back to the community with the talents each of us has.”

Col. Rick Johns, deputy director and chief information officer of Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations, Air Force Materiel Command, is this year’s CFC chair. During his 35-year Air Force career, he has seen the impact the CFC has, he said, and he became involved as CFC leadership because he “always defaults to ‘yes.’”

“The Combined Federal Campaign has always been a great and important cause in my life. We always see how much it benefits the community.

“If you have certain causes, you can pick what you want,” Johns said. “There are thousands from which to choose. If you can’t find something, then there is something wrong. There is every possible cause to give your money and your time to.”

He said he wanted to share the following as words of encouragement for giving to the campaign.

“Think about your life and how well it is going, look at the economy and how it is going, and see that others don’t have it as good. There are people who have things that are not their fault. Pick something that speaks to you and give. You will feel so good inside. It will make you feel warm and put a smile on your face. ‘Show some love.’ That’s what we’re asking for.”

Johns pointed to the many charities participating in the CFC Charity Fair and Campaign Kickoff, held Oct. 3 at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

“All of these people here are showing up for someone or something else,” he said. “You can give locally, statewide, nationally or internationally to causes.”

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Staff Sgt. Elena Arrasmith, NCO in charge, Executive Services, Air Force Material Command, to the director of Air, Space and Cyber Space Operations and the CFC chair’s action officer, said “The thing that touches me the most is knowing that people are giving back to the causes that are important to them. Helping get out the word makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.”

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management reorganized the CFC last year, and some of that reorganization has been influenced by suggestions and best practices from Susy Himelhoch, the Dayton district’s director, Johns said.

“This is going to be a very good year. While some things have changed, people now understand that this campaign is all about getting money to the programs, services and beneficiaries that need it,” he said.

He thanked everyone who attended the Oct. 3 event, including Col. Tom Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing commander, who authorized the event as an alternate duty location for military personnel and civilians.

“The commitment we have seen from senior leadership at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is really helping this year’s campaign. We thank Lt. Gen. (Robert) McMurry and Col. Sherman and the leaders who have provided us these important opportunities.”

Nalepka said he encourages potential donors to go to the CFC website at and take a look at the numerous charities and the information they make available. "What inspires you? What cause or causes speak to you?

“It’s an excellent and very intuitive website, he said. “You should find it very easy to navigate and make the contributions you wish to make.”

The campaign is not about raising a certain amount of dollars, Nalepka emphasized. “Rather, it’s the one dollar that each group gets is one more dollar they have to reach out and do the things that are very important to them.”

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