It must be something in the water.

Since 1982-83, the staff at the Veirs Mill Branch of Suburban Bank has taken up a collection for Children's Hospital. Two years ago, customers contributed $531 -- which was nice. Last year, customers contributed $1,605.63 -- which was better. This year, the total reached $2,263.10 -- which is even better than better.

Patricia Stromberg is the chief collector at Veirs Mill, and she says her success isn't the result of water at all.

"First, it's a good cause," she writes. "Second, people who think about donating but never take the time to write the check find it so easy to give us their change and more. The third and last reason is where you come in. It certainly helps for the customers to see recognition in your column."

It's the least I can do, Patricia. Here's hoping for an even better showing in 1985-86.


These groups have sent checks in recent days:

The AIRES Project, Defense Intelligence Agency ($320).

The drama club at Thomas S. Wootton High School ($125.10).

The McLean Grand Slammers Bridge Club ($30).

W. J. Schafer Associates, Inc. ($1,615).

Employes of the Alexandria Branch of National Medical Homecare ($78).

Members of the Science & Technology Division, Institute for Defense Analyses ($168).

Spring Cleaning and Maintenance Co. ($20).

The Times Journal Company ($100).

Ralston, Redick, Norwitch & O'Connor, a Reston law firm ($90 from the Christmas party fund).

The Sligo Woods Ladies "425" Bowling League from White Oak Lanes in Silver Spring ($40).

Employes of McGeorge & Associates, Woodbridge ($63).

National Society of Professional Engineers ($680.10).

Employes of American Alliance of Reston ($175).

Secretaries at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School ($10).

The staff in the Office of Wage-Hour, D.C. Department of Employment Services ($50).

Employes of Manassas Lumber Corporation ($110.50).

Child Health Care of Manassas, Inc. ($110).

The Office of General Counsel at COMSAT ($71).

The nursing staff at Springwood Psychiatric Institute in Leesburg ($85).

Club Americana, Inc. ($106).

Guests at the Comptroller's Office Christmas party at the U.S. Information Agency ($65).

Employes of James G. Davis Construction Corporation ($700).

Staffers at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, a D.C. law firm (a bountiful $2,515).

La Fonda Restaurant ($128 -- half from the staff, half from the bosses).

Research, Analysis & Management Corporation of Rockville ($1,350 -- of which $482 came from staffers, the balance from management).

Employes of United States Service Industries ($130)

The social committee of Gelman Library, George Washington University ($40 in honor of Bruce Calvin).

Employes of The Kiplinger Washington Editors and Editors Press (the terrific total of $4,277.65).

The CCCP Semi-Circle Cooperative Dinner and Bridge Group ($50.20).

The Nimbus Association at Goddard Space Flight Center ($50).

Employes in the Reprographics Operations and Reprographics Planning and Control Departments at Vitro Corporation, Silver Spring ($215).

Employes of the Operating Services Division, U.S. Postal Service ($326).

Staff and students at Julius W. Hobson Middle School in Southeast ($100 from a mini-bazaar).

Secretaries in the Department of Audiology, Gallaudet College ($15).

Employes of Mid Atlantic Publishing Corporation, Annandale ($46.30).

Liff's Market of Southeast ($150).

Staffers and customers of Optical World at Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax ($185).

Employes of American Art Make-A-Frame in Rockville ($30).

Employes at Paciulli, Simmons & Associates, Ltd. in Vienna ($500).

Employes in the executive office, National League of Cities ($280).

The Washington Marketing Branch, C & P Telephone ($205).

The Division of Language Services at the State Department (the 12th donation in a row from these folks, and now they've gone past the $1,000 mark with $1,077).

Breed, Abbott & Morgan, a D.C. law firm ($140).

The staff of the Associate Managing Director for Information Management, Federal Communications Commission ($880).

Employes and customers of the Democracy Boulevard Branch of Suburban Bank ($175).

Unit 8764, Washington R.D.C., Sears Roebuck and Co. ($104 from a cake raffle).

The U.S. Navy Petroleum Office at Cameron Station ($102.50).

Customers and employes of Dixie Liquors in Georgetown ($200).

Staffers at the Air Force Association ($825 from the Christmas fund).

The three sixth grade classes at Westlawn Elementary School in Falls Church ($60).

Washington Office, Information and Data Systems Division, National Park Service ($100).

Employes of the Ship Control and Equipment Division, Naval Sea Systems Command, SEA 56W3 ($125.66).

Employes of White Technical Support Services, White Scientific Consultants and Carson & Associates (a joint gift of $600).

Branch SDAH of the Defense Mapping Agency, Hydrographic/Topographic Center ($40).

Employes of the National Automobile Dealers Association Retirement Fund ($1,241).

And the Accounts Payable Department at Hechinger ($75).

Absolutely wonderful. Thank you all very much.