Annual fund drive to kick off with charity fair on Oct. 2

The annual celebratory Charity Fair and Campaign Kickoff supporting the Combined Federal Campaign, Dayton District, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 2 at Wright State University’s Nutter Center. The kickoff is open to all Department of Defense, federal, U.S. Postal Service and Veterans Affairs employees.

The event will include more than 70 charitable organization booths with information, subject matter experts, giveaways and mementoes, all on the concourse level. A no-charge, picnic-style lunch of grilled beef, vegetarian and vegan hamburgers; chips; cookie; and bottled water is being provided by the Miami Valley and Tecumseh councils of the Boy Scouts of America; food will be available until gone. Parking and entry to the event are free.

The Charity Fair has been approved by Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, as an alternate duty location, pending first-line supervisors’ approval.

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Using the national CFC theme of “Show Some Love,” the campaign will seek to contact 100 percent of base personnel’s eligible donors, said Susy Himelhoch, CFC Dayton District director.

“We know that educated, informed decisions benefit the charities,” she said. “The Charity Fair and Campaign Kickoff is a fabulous opportunity for the charities to interact one on one with the DoD and federal workforce. They know the value of that.”

Joe Nalepka, director of Management Operations, 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory, is serving as the campaign’s chair. Jacque Fisher, deputy director of the Sensors Division, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, is this year’s vice-chair.

“The 2019 Combined Federal Campaign is not only about ‘Showing Some Love’ to charitable organizations but also another way of showing that we are ‘Dayton Strong’ with our contributions to local and national organizations that need our financial assistance,” Nalepka said. “I am excited and honored to be this year’s CFC chairperson and look forward to both its success and the generosity of those who participate.”

“Dayton knows how to ‘Show Some Love’,” Fisher said. “I am excited to be a part of the 2019 campaign as Joe’s vice-chair. We have already started training our key workers and the spirit is alive and on fire. I hope each employee is inspired to give.”

Other CFC leadership includes loaned executives Victoria Russell, a contract specialist in the Mobility Directorate, AFLCMC; and Jeff Leonard, a systems safety engineer, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL. They will lend their time and talents to the campaign until Nov. 22.

Donations in any amount are greeted by the charities with gratitude, Himelhoch said, because the needs are so vast and recent disasters and other events mean the charitable organizations need to replenish their supplies.

“This year, especially locally, we have been impacted by a number of tragedies that make the needs seem to be more pronounced,” she said. “We are now more familiar with what charities do day in and day out to provide the safety net that’s needed by so many.

“CFC charities benefit a multitude of programs globally,” Himelhoch continued, “including arts and culture, environment, animal welfare, veteran services, food insecurity and the well-being of our military members and their families.

“The campaign is important because the funds raised keep strong the communities where we live and work and support great programs and services,” she said. “It is our opportunity to support the causes important to us.”

Donors may give to any CFC-approved charity, no matter where it or the donor's duty assignment is located. The formal part of the campaign runs Oct. 2 through Nov. 15, although the website became operational Sept. 9 and can accept pledges already and through Jan. 12, 2020. Payroll deductions will be made from February 2010 through early 2021.

E-pledges made at and credit and debit pledges are being emphasized. Pledges may be fulfilled through payroll deduction, money orders and personal and bank checks. Paper pledge forms can be used and are available for download from the website.

“I see firsthand the charities’ gratitude for the support they receive from the Dayton district of the Combined Federal Campaign in both dollars and volunteerism,” Himelhoch said. “That appreciation is real and heartfelt; many of the charities wouldn’t be able to turn their lights on without the generous support from Dayton-area donors.”

She gives credit to the many volunteers who are lending their time and talents to the campaign, including the CFC leadership team, campaign managers and key workers.

Himelhoch said she hopes commanders and directors promote awareness of the campaign during their calls and staff meetings. She and the CFC leadership team are available to enhance those meetings and bring along charity representatives.

For more information on the upcoming CFC campaign, call 937-257-0292.

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