The time has come to tally this year's contributions from U.S. Navy personnel. It won't be a job -- it will be an adventure. We better get out the abacus.
Before we start this shakedown cruise, let's note that the shoebox total today is $173,689.40. Exactly a year ago, Bill gave an item-by-item account of the contributions from Bell Telephone System employees. That boosted his to-date total to $196,548.67.Let's see how far the Navy can take us.
We cast off with the military and civilian personnel attached to the Naval Council of Personnel Boards. Their Christmas party fund had an excess of $12.82, which was sent to the children.
"This donation comes to you from the Organization and Management Division of the Joint Cruise Missiles Project," began a letter with a $25 check. The project is staffed by both Naval and Air Force personnel. Their "Operation Christmas Card" never got off the ground, so they held a collection at the office Christmas party. Another office party, held by members of the Equipment Management Department of the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Facility, raised spirits enough to produce $27 for the hospital.
Friends from the Pentagon's OPNAV Communications Center brought $61 aboard this year, and sounded a familiar complaint. "Check isn't as large as we hoped when we first started beating the drums." Don't worry -- they never are.
Employees of the Naval Photographic Center sent $75 with hopes that their gift would be of "some help." Navy people always tend to be a little on the modest side.
Once again, members of the Joseph Wasson Chapter of the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association posted a substantial increase over last year's effort. Their theme used to be "Next year we'll do better." This time they switched to "Every little bit helps," and sent $120.
The CAP/PAD Department of the Naval Ordnance Station in Indian Head wished me a happy new year and remembered the children with $161.
At least 14 crew members, including a retired admiral, booked passage on the U.S.S. Miscellaneous. Their combined fares added up to $415 this year. tTrain centerline and secure, sailors. I'll see you next year.
Now that the miscellaneous details are shipshape (and Bristol fashion), it's time to inspect the big guns. There have been some staggering increases in group totals, and a few decreases.
Last year the Naval Regional Finance Center was worth $300 to the children as an organization. This year those hospital supporters gathered $726, more than double their previous effort. The fine folks at the Naval Electronics Systems Command posted $863.30 for the free-care fund.
Last year concerned District Liners employed at the David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center were disappointed by their $98 showing. They promised to find "another collection method to insure larger participation." Whatever they found produced $1,040.20 -- 30 individual checks equalling $332, and a credit union check for $708.20.
After I get off the midwatch, I think I'll splice the main brace in honor of all the R & D types over in Carderock.
Adhering to their yearly tradition, employees of the Naval Air Systems Command "have contributed to the most worthy of causes, the children." The sun deposited in Cinderella's Glass Slipper (another tradition) at their last accounting, was $1,731.97.
Edging past Navair were the contributors employed by the Naval Supply Systems Command.They rallied once again, and shipped the hospital $1,956 to help provide affordable medical care to needy children.
Putting in a late port call were employees of the Navy's Military Sealift Command. They wanted to be sure that everyone had a chance to help.
The late effort yielded $330.That was added to the $1,868.32 raised by the Command's annual golf tournament. Overall total: $2,198.32.
The kind souls working at the Naval Research Laboratory are consistent and generous. Last year they gathered $2,239.74. This year their total was $2,236.01. That's cutting it close.
The Naval Sea Systems Command Code 6152 established a "Children's Coffee Corner" in 1977 with the intent of furnishing a room at the hospital. The cost that year was quoted at $2,500, and that figure became the shop goal. They reached $2,650 in profits from the "Corner" and direct contributions last month, and made a presentation of $2,650 to the hospital.
NAVSEA has done it again "for the love of children." In a memorable office presentation ceremony, a check for $5,825 was handed to me by the Commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command. What a check!
Anchors aweigh. This has really looked like an all hands evolution. The Navy has given us a hard push towards $200,000. The abacus gives a record reading of $20,123.62 in Navy gifts this year. Our total now is an encouraging $193,813.02.