Well, we didn't match the $320,000 of a year ago. But the final totals in our annual fund-raising drive on behalf of Children's Hospital are pretty shiny just the same.

The smoke has cleared from around the adding machine, and the end-of-the-road numbers look like this:

Grand total: $296,849.00.

Donations by individuals: 4,452.

Donations by groups: 678.

Once again, bushels of thanks to every contributor. You have come through again, as you have so many times before.

These groups contributed to the campaign in its last three days:

Meridian Roofing & Construction Co., Inc. ($17.47), the law offices of Armin U. Kuder ($80), Eleanor's Town & Country, Inc., of McLean ($82), the Junior Girl Scouts of Troop 2318 at Woodlawn School, Falls Church ($5), the staff of the Customer Engineering Group at Springfield's Wang Laboratories ($40), the Division of Federal-State Relations at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ($30) and the McLean staff of Mt. Vernon Realty ($80).

Also, the staff of the Himmelfarb Medical Library at George Washington University Medical Center ($65), the staff of Dart Drug store No. 202 in Chantilly ($104), the Enclosing Unit of C & P Telephone ($11), The Don Stapleson Quartet ($85.60), the government marketing section at Arlington's RAPICOM, Inc. ($6), the Manor Monday Night Bridge Group ($35), the Woman's Suburban Democratic Club of Montgomery County ($25), The M.G. Car Club Ltd. ($36.76), the Class of 1957 from Alexandria's George Washington High School ($33.86) and United Airlines' employes at Dulles and National Airports ($1,547).

Other givers included the gang at Alexandria's Center for Naval Analyses ($551.05), the Employe Legal Fund at the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration ($108), the Data Processing Management Association Student Club at Yorktowne Business Institute ($162), Front Royal's Giles B. Cook American Legion Post No. 53 ($65), the Office of Transportation at the General Services Administration ($320), the Fidelis Circle at the Northern Virginia Primitive Baptist Church in Fairfax ($50), the YWCA of the National Capital Area ($27) and the Senior Usher Board of the Purity Baptist Church ($25).

Finally, the Greater Newington Women ($154.25), the staff of The Salvo, the student newspaper at Alexandria's Hammond Junior High School ($50), the staff of the Water Revenue Division, Measurement Branch, D.C. Department of Environmental Services ($105), the waitresses and bartenders at Germantown's Middlebrook Restaurant ($200), The Futurelites of Washington ($50), the Distribution Services Division at C & P Telephone ($1,503.69), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Engineering and Construction Directorate($77), the family day care providers at Northern Virginia Community College ($70), the employes of Giant Food store No. 83 in Greenbelt ($74), the market research staff at Norfolk Southern Corp. ($50), Den 4 of Bethesda's Cub Scout Pack 204 ($15), the students and faculty of Friendship Educational Center of Washington ($50) and the staff of the Police Foundation ($105).

I leave you with two letters that say better than I ever could what Children's Hospital does, and means. The first is from Michelle Helie Morrissey of Arlington:

"In the spring of 1971, my son Kevin had open heart surgery. . . at Children's Hospital. A couple of days after the operation . . . I arrived at his bedside to find (the surgeon) sitting there, reading him 'The Littlest Elephant.'

"I was speechless. A busy heart surgeon taking time to read a story to a six-year-old! I asked Kevin how this came about. 'Oh,' he said, 'I just asked him to.'"

The second letter is from Bertha Ceaser of Southeast. She writes:

"I am now 73 years old. I was in Children's Hospital as a baby, not expected to live when I went home.

"Thanks to your care, I am now a greatgrandmother."

If you've ever wondered what your Children's Hospital gifts mean to this community, wonder no more.