Every day of every year, Children's Hospital helps sick children get well enough to walk back out through the front door. That's precisely why we raise funds for the hospital in this space each holiday season. There can't be a better cause, or a more pleasing result.

But what happens to those once-sick kids in the years that follow? Do they or their families ever stop remembering the lifesaving care that Children's delivered once upon a time?

In the case of a McLean woman named Anna T. Shaw, the answer, blessedly, is no.

The other day, Anna sent a $100 contribution to our annual fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's. Her reason was her husband.

"My husband, Chip, was a patient at Children's when he was 8 years old," Anna writes. "He had open heart surgery there in 1971 when the procedure was still brand-new. Thanks to the fine staff, the surgery was completely successful.

"In fact," Anna writes, "he has just finished his doctoral dissertation in physics and is graduating from the University of Maryland later this month. I can never adequately express my gratitude to Children's for saving my husband's life, but here is a small donation in his name. Perhaps it will help give someone else the gift of life."

Let's hope it does, Anna. In the meantime, thanks for the update on your chipper Chip. He has obviously made the most of that successful surgery. But that's always the point at The Hospital on the Hill. It dishes out fresh chances -- as long as we help with our checkbooks.

Reminder to you high rollers who are lurking in the bushes: A high-enough roll for the benefit of our Children's campaign will win you a nice prize.

The largest individual contributor wins four tickets to the Washington Bullets-Atlanta Hawks basketball game on Jan. 23 at Capital Centre. Second-largest wins four seats to the Washington Capitals-Winnipeg Jets hockey game on Feb. 2 in the same building. All those tickets were donated to our campaign by the Cap Centre's Bob Zurfluh.

Not to be outdone, Matt Amodeo of Centre Management has kicked in some tickets as well. To our third-largest individual contributor, Matt will provide four seats to a Feb. 16 performance of the Ice Capades at Capital Centre. The fourth-largest contributor will receive four seats to the May 11 Cup of Champions gymnastics show at George Mason University's Patriot Center. Many thanks to Matt for his generosity.


Make a check or money order payable to Children's Hospital and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.

Group donors are beginning to make their presence felt. The latest to grace the mailbox:

Employees, Prince George's Federal Credit Union, Upper Marlboro ($140).

Employees, Williamsburg Branch, First American Bank ($70).

May Tax Service Inc., Olney ($140, half from the employees in lieu of a gift exchange, half from President E.W. May).

Staff, offices of Drs. Robert J. Bettini, Janice J. Emery & Gary N. Melnick, Burke ($100).

DTVFD Ladies Auxiliary, Triangle, Va. ($100).

Employees, University of Maryland Graduate Apartments ($500).

Teddy Bear Bowling League, Rockville ($50).

Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Criminal Unit -- Washington Field Office, U.S. Department of State ($50).

The Hogettes and the Hogette supporters ($100).

Teamsters Union Local 639 ($4,000 raised at an annual golf tournament).

Staff, Community Facilities Division, Farmers Home Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture ($70).

Maryland Delta Alpha Delta Kappa ($50).

Tuesday Morning Women's Non-Smoker Bridge Group, Bowie ($50).

Staff, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations) ($567.38 raised via a raffle at the Christmas party).

WEVV Press Inc., Arlington ($50, with thanks to President Joseph A. Prantier).

Lutheran Laymen's League, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Northwest Washington ($25).

Business Resources Department, Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate, Patuxent Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md. ($220).

McKinley Tech Class of February 1941 ($100).

NMTBA, McLean ($55 collected at the annual picnic dunk tank).

Junior Woman's Club of Rockville ($50).

Benedictine Sisters, Cheverly ($25).

The Quiet Woman, Calverton, Va. ($25).

Cameron Elementary School, Alexandria ($150.57, with special thanks for inviting me to participate earlier this month as a "celebrity reader").

Northern Prince George's Lutheran Cluster ($75 from an offering taken at an advent vesper service on the eve of St. Michael's Day).

Meyers Consulting Services, Adelphi ($50).

The Golden Girls of Leisure World and Diamond Jim ($52).

Civilian Personnel Management Directorate, Position Management and Classification Branch, U.S. Total Army Personnel Command, Department of the Army, Alexandria ($65).

Bow-Der Athletic Club, Bowie ($20).

Brandywine Work Center, Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co., Lanham ($100).

Pennywise Thrift Shop, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Temple Hills ($100).

Fifth-floor coffee fund, Resolution Trust Corp. ($25).

Ropeik & Associates, Silver Spring ($100).

Actuarial Research Corp. ($50).

Washington Area Retirees Club, Sheet Metal Workers Local No. 100 ($25).

U-11 coffee mess, Naval Surface Warfare Center, White Oak ($225).

Welfare Fund of Kesher Israel Congregation ($100).

St. Andrew's Leisure Club, Silver Spring ($60).