It's a shame that a campaign like this one has to end. From start to finish, 1984-85 has had a special aura about it_created by a community that cares, and that shows it through its generosity. Indeed, the arithmetic shows that this has been the best year we've ever had at raising funds for Children's Hospital.

The totals that follow aren't Final with a capital F, because it's Thursday as I write this, and the campaign was scheduled to run through Friday.

Capital-F Final Figures will appear in my column on Monday. But these are the provisional Week Eight totals:

Grand total to date: $366,646.47.

Total given this week: $31,823.04.

Individual donors to date: 5,037.

Group donors to date: 646.

By way of comparison, the eighth week total a year ago was $334,486.01. That means we've exceeded last year's record by nearly 10 percent. That's Admirable with a capital A.

To every office that foreswore Christmas cards and sent money to the campaign instead, to every grandparent who contributed in the name of the little ones, to every Just Plain Joe and Just Plain Jane who sent check after check, my deepest thanks. And more of the same from dozens of sick kids, who stand a better chance to get well because of your wonderful response.


These groups contributed to our drive:

Ward III patients at the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home ($46).

Daniel's Photography Studio in Reston ($25).

Civilian employes and military staff at the U.S. Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories, Fort Belvoir ($300).

The Health Physics staff at the Naval Research Laboratory ($160).

The Copley Hall House Council at Georgetown University ($17.50).

The troops at S. T. Research in Newington ($20).

The gang I know best: Cookie-eaters on the fourth and fifth floors at The Washington Post, who took part in The Annual Cookie Orgy ($1,250, and special thanks to Mary Reider and Jeanneane Joyner).

Iverson Mall Florist of Hillcrest Heights ($24.75).

Nautilus employes at The Supreme Court and The Athletic Club in Columbia ($25).

The SVR Department at the Institute of Modern Procedures ($78).

Gen. Vicente Lim Auxiliary to Post No. 5471, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. ($25).

The Seabrook Carolers ($60).

The whole gang at Ridgeview Junior High School in Gaithersburg ($200).

Employes of the Washington District Office, Small Business Administration ($131).

The Spa Lady staff at Seven Corners ($25).

Employes of the U.S. Design Corporation in Lanham ($30).

The Pleasant Valley Community Association ($10).

The Potomac-Bethesda Rotary Club Foundation ($250).

The Pan Am reservations office ($50, in memory of John Mogford).

The Glenn Dale Senior Citizens Club ($113).

Employes of the American Gas Association ($900).

The Keyettes Club at Marshall High School in Falls Church ($50).

Owners, employes and customers of Sosnik's Liquors in Northeast ($100).

The Area One Administrative Office staff, Montgomery County Public Schools ($151).

"The friendly folks" at Heishman Porsche and Audi in Arlington ($200).

Employes of Shoppers Food Warehouse No. 16 in Burke ($120).

Phyllis Cubbage's class in Room 206 at Arrowhead Elementary School, Upper Marlboro ($20, and thanks for a lovely visit Wednesday).

R.V. Swiger Company of Gaithersburg ($50).

The Golden Rollers Bowling League from St. Charles Bowl in Waldorf ($26).

The Scarlet Ibis Women's Group ($155).

Office workers at Enterprise Answering Service, Inc., of Bethesda ($60).

Stallings Williams Post 206 of The American Legion ($200).

Employes of Giant Food and pharmacy, Blair Plaza Shopping Center, Silver Spring ($150).

Patrons, employes and management of El Rancho Bar and Restaurant, Forestville ($251).

Employes of the Economic Surveys Division, Bureau of the Census ($141).

Bethel No. 38, International Order of Job's Daughters ($53).

Computer Associates International, Inc. ($525). The Ki-Wives Club of Shepherd Park ($50).

The Northern Virginia Carolers Association ($594).

The Welcome Wagon of Vienna-Oakton ($25).

The Potomac Hills Garden Club ($200).

Population Division, Bureau of the Census ($76).

The cafeteria staff at Bowie Senior High School, Bowie ($50).

The office staff at Forestville Elementary School, Great Falls, Va. ($75).

Brokers in the Silver Spring office of Paine Webber ($150).

Washington Regional Office, Securities and Exchange Commission ($65).

The Control Validation, Printouts, Logging and Shipping Sections of the National Geographic Membership Center in Gaithersburg ($96).

The Office of Personnel Management at the Agency for International Development ($120).

And the members of the Center for Strategic & International Studies at Georgetown University ($175).

If there's a better group of people, anywhere, I haven't met them, and I don't expect to. What a tremendous outpouring of compassion -- and cash!

It gives us a lofty goal to shoot at a year from now, and shoot we will, because the need to provide for sick kids, and for Children's Hospital, never vanishes.

For now, though, every one of you who contributed should take a deep bow. You've earned it.

Thanks very, very much.