As our annual fund-raising effort on behalf of Children's Hospital heads for the last lap, we are discovering, as always, that groups of all sizes make contributions of all sizes. Today, a look at the small, the medium and the large:
FROM $10 TO Marj Skinner Productions of Chevy Chase contributed $10, all of it in gratitude for the safe return of the founder's wedding ring, which she lost at Bethesda's Crown Books during a day of "frantic Christmas shopping."
Marj notes that "if everyone who has experienced the return of a lost item would donate 10 percent of the item's cash value to Children's Hospital, that would be a Christmas story with an even happier ending."
A nice idea, Marj. I've put it right at the front of my 1983-84 Children's Hospital file. I'll start nagging everyone about it in 10 months, when we begin our drive anew.
A $25 donation arrived from Manchester House Antiques of Silver Spring, and its chief cook and bottle washer, Lesta K. Doerfler. Lesta is an old bridge buddy, and she guesses that her $25 "should cover my entry fees for 1982 had we played bridge. However, since we didn't, both you and Children's Hospital are ahead."
You demean yourself, Lesta. But your gift hardly demeans the kids. May all your finesses succeed in 1983.
The Burke Sharks of the National Capital Soccer League donated $30 to our campaign, and challenged other teams in its league, as well as the Washington Area Girls Soccer League, to equal or surpass it. Thanks to coach Don Cavanaugh for forwarding the gift and making the challenge.
Our $32 contribution comes from the clerical staff at the Mass Mutual-Levin Agency in Bethesda. Thanks, insurers.
FROM $50 TO Right at half a hundred were five groups -- C.A.C.I. of Arlington, the management of Fletcher's Boat House in Northwest, Capital Video Center of Tysons Corner, the United States Independent Telephone Association and the Arlington Young Democrats.
As Michael J. Stoil of the Young Dems notes, "civic responsibility doesn't end at the voting booth." A bunch of sick kids up on Michigan Avenue are glad you feel that way, Mike. Thanks to you, and the rest of the "50 Club."
Marine Air Supply Co., Inc., of Kensington donated $62, and the Gay Community Center of the District of Columbia gave $67. Thanks to both.
There were two $70 donors -- the Wanderlust Travel Club of Northwest, and the staff of the Aspen Hill branch of Chevy Chase Savings and Loan Inc.
The bank folks had a special reason for giving this year. The sister of one of their coworkers nearly died early in December, but Children's saved her. In gratitude, the Aspen Hillers kicked into a kitty what they would normally have spent on Christmas gifts for each other. It's a decision that will pay dividends, you might say.
Last in this category: a $79 gift from the office staff of Capitol Hill Management Co. of Chevy Chase. Thank you very much.
FROM $100 UP: Leading off the list in the upper reaches are three $100 donations -- from the employes of the Fleet Management Division of the Prince George's County government, the employes of VIP Systems Typesetting Company in Alexandria and the "Ladies of the Children's Department" at the Lord and Taylor store in Falls Church. Much appreciated, all of you.
Lucille McCheney was determined to put together a gift to the hospital this year from among her office mates at the Administration for Children, Youth and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services. She went the delicious route to do it.
"I invested $5 in popcorn, oil and bags," she writes, "and provided popcorn to my coworkers for three weeks during the hours of 2 to 4 p.m. Everyone made a 'free will' contribution to Children's Hospital each time they took some . . . " The result? A check for $105.45. May your taste for popcorn never flag, HHSers.
Two gifts of $106 graced the mailbox: the first from the Fairfax City Police Association ($2 from each of the group's 53 members), the second from employes of Kaiser-Georgetown Community Health Plan Inc. of Springfield, who bought 106 $1 chances on a holiday wreath. Thanks to both organizations.
The Nuclear Effects Simulation Technology Branch at Harry Diamond Laboratories in White Oak contributed $120, and the employes of R. H. Nicholson & Company of Falls Church gave $140. Meanwhile, the members and staff of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance of Reston contributed $180, and the employes of William E. Miller Furniture Co. of Capitol Hill kicked in $180. We're grateful to all of you.
Instead of exchanging gifts and cards, the employes of the Printouts and Control Validation section of Data Assembly at the National Geographic Membership Center in Gaithersburg passed the hat for the hospital. The contents: $204. Meanwhile, through its annual book fair, the Association of American Foreign Service Women collected $250 for the hospital. Good work!
Couriers toiling for Dash of Arlington put together a $315 contribution. A $364.35 gift was given by the staff of RAILINC Corp. -- the 10th consecutive year that outfit has made a holiday gift to the hospital. And Court 1643 of the Independent Order of Foresters contributed $400 to the kids. Much obliged to all three groups.
Speaking of consecutive giving streaks, the staff of the Transportation Research Board at the National Academy of Sciences rang up a 16th consecutive annual gift. This year's was the handsome sum of $539. And for the fourth year in a row, the staff of W. J. Schafer and Associates Inc., of Arlington raised funds for the kids instead of investing in cards and gifts for each other. Their total was $835, which is worthy, indeed.
Finally, two groups that broke into four figures: Communications Workers of America Local No. 2108 ($1,164.50) and the American Council of Life Insurance, headquartered in Northwest ($1,517). To the dozens of people at both organizations who made those numbers possible, sincere thanks.
To contribute to the campaign:
Make a check or money order payable to Children's Hospital and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.