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2011 CFC campaign begins

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The annual Combined Federal Campaign, which raises money each year members for local, national and international charities, begins Monday morning with an 8 a.m. kickoff breakfast at the Gateway Club.

This year's goal is to raise nearly $2.2 million at Lackland through its mission partners and tenant organizations, a modest increase from 2010. The formal campaign runs Monday through Oct. 28. However, funds will be collected at Lackland through Dec. 15.

Robert Dickmeyer, the base campaign project officer, is optimistic the fundraising drive will meet its goal even with the weak economy. "I'm an eternal optimist and do not feel the goal is out of reach," Dickmeyer said. "In a tough economy, it's even more important for us to give because need. "Thankfully, most people understand.

They realize that money often comes back to the community and our young Airmen. The key workers I've met are excited about the campaign and are ready to get going."

Monday's kickoff breakfast is hosted by the 802nd Mission Support Group.

It features two speakers with close ties to the fundraising campaign. Dwayne Hopkins, executive director of the Fisher House, and Mike Bennett, American Red Cross San Antonio area chapter chief executive officer, will deliver the breakfast's keynote addresses.

"The Fisher House is certainly a near and dear charity to wounded warriors and the base," Dickmeyer said. "And the American Red Cross is one of the organizations Airmen who needed help and the Red Cross has always been there for them. "It's appropriate these two charities kick off our campaign."

The CFC has a guidebook for potential contributors listing more than 2,500 different charities, local to international.

Donors can make one-time contributions or payroll deductions; donations can also be distributed among the charities in accordance with the donor's wishes. Dickmeyer called Lackland a giving and understanding community when it comes to contributions.

He said the prevalent attitude on base was that of military members and civilian personnel who appreciate the CFC and the benefits it reaps.

"There's a charity in the CFC book that touches everyone's heart," said Dickmeyer. "If we can find out how to touch those heart strings and connect that charity with each person, giving is not going to be a problem.