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NUWC Division Keyport strives to ‘change the world’

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport employees ate chili, tacos and competed in the “Office Olympics” all for a good cause.

NUWC Division Keyport recently participated in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), an annual fund drive in the federal workplace. Military and civilian federal employees at Keyport have donated more than $81,000 to the campaign and the donations keep on coming.

“I’ve seen more enthusiasm this year than in the past,” said Diane Jennings, NUWC Division Keyport spokeswoman.

CFC is a federal initiative coordinated by the Office of Personnel Management. Naval Base Kitsap is part of the Kitsap and Mason counties chapter of CFC and participates in the drive every year. CFC raises money for numerous local, national and international charities and this year’s theme is “Change the world one gift at a time.”

“Although Keyport does a fabulous job we’re not the only naval operation that does this,” Jennings said.

President John. F. Kennedy started CFC in 1961 and allowed federal employees to raise money for numerous charities by filling out one pledge card. Employees can flip through a booklet to select the charities they would like to receive donations.

IT specialist Robert Jennings coordinates CFC for Keyport and said this year’s activities were a hit. The six-week campaign began in October and included a spaghetti feed, bake sale bazaar on Halloween and a dodgeball tournament at Naval Hospital Bremerton. Keyport kicks off the campaign each year with Robert’s favorite event, a chili cook-off.

“The chili cook-off is always my favorite because we’re just kicking off the campaign,” Robert said.

Federal employees at Keyport set a record during last year’s campaign, raising more than $151,000.

“There’s not pressure to donate, it’s all voluntary,” Diane said.

A new event to Keyport’s activities this year was the “Office Olympics.” Keyport employees split into teams and competed in events such as the wastepaper basket toss, paper airplane engineering, rubber band archery and the coffee relay. Robert said one event raised about $1,000 for CFC.

“Office Olympics was a blast, we need to do that again,” he said with a smile.

Robert said giving money through CFC is easier because federal employees fill out a single pledge card and it is easier for the charities.

“It makes giving easy, but more importantly from the agency’s standpoint, they know how much they are getting and can budget for it,” Robert said. “It’s just such a better way to help out the charities, it just makes sense all the way around.”

Capt. Jonathan Dowell, commander of NUWC Division Keyport, said CFC is a great campaign and Robert’s enthusiasm drives the campaign at Keyport.

“It wouldn’t be what it is without Robert Jennings,” Dowell said. “It really is a good cause but a lot of it is driven by his personality.”

Robert, along with numerous people, actively solicited donations during the past six weeks and said those people deserve the credit for the campaign’s success.

“The credit’s not mine, it’s the key people,” Robert said. “The campaign is on their shoulders.”

Although the six-week soliciting campaign is over, federal employees may continue donating money to various charities through CFC. For more information and a pledge card, visit the local CFC Web site at www.kitsap-mason-cfc.org.

“We can continue to accept donations,” Robert said.

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