LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
In spite of the economic downturn that has wrapped its tentacles across the majority of the nation, Team Lackland has stepped up once again when it comes to the Combined Federal Campaign.
"As we started into this and gas prices went up to $4 a gallon and the economy was certainly going down, I was curious as to how well we might do this year," said Lt. Col. Patrick Burke, 322nd Training Squadron commander and Team Lackland project officer.
Team Lackland left no doubt it was in a giving spirit by raising more than $1.8 million for local, national and international charities through the annual CFC campaign.
"Amazingly, we've done better than we did last year and I think that goes back to the heart of each and every individual," said Colonel Burke. "We had a lot of heart-felt giving. Folks dug deep, reached out and gave. Every individual that supported the campaign can take pride in helping make it a success."
Armed with the theme "changing lives one gift at a time," the CFC kicked off its fundraising efforts Sept. 10 and wrapped up last week.
The final tally of $1,800,217.37 was 108 percent above the total collected last year.
The 37th Training Wing, between permanent party and students, topped the $1 million mark in monies raised.
The 59th Medical Wing also saw a large increase as they did 112 percent of last year's total.
Colonel Burke and his staff of dedicated workers looked at the statistics and lessons learned from last year's campaign, and then set in motion a plan to accomplish this year's goals.
"We focused attention where we thought it might need it and that helped out tremendously," he said. "I think engagement with key workers and an expert staff of loaned executives, some returning from last year, used their experience to help make this year an even better campaign."
Approximately 25,000 people were canvassed from the federal agencies across Lackland Air Force Base, including the 37th TRW, the 59th Medical Wing, the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency / Joint Information Operations Warfare Center, the Texas Cryptologic Center, Cryptologic Systems Group, the 149th Fighter Wing, the 67th Network Warfare Wing, AFIOC, AFNEWS, and the 433rd Airlift Wing.
In early December, the first "Thank You Burger Burn" for key campaign workers was held to recognize their efforts that also included special merit certificates from the CFC chairman.
Lieutenant Colonel Burke said he appreciated the hard work from all those involved in the campaign, but in particular noted loaned executives Chief Master Sgt. John Sharp and Maj. Matt Wilson, deputy project officer Master Sgt. Robert Brown, Staff Sgt. Brandon Bender, Capt. Barbara McQueen, Staff Sgt. Bobby Bass, Staff Sgt. Brett Jameson, Roman Quiroz of the public affairs office, and Jerry Swinarsky of the United Way, who provided guidance as the overall chairman of the San Antonio campaign.
"I'd also like to recognize the leadership support at all levels," he said. "That leadership support is critical to a strong campaign."