Over the top!

I had a hunch I'd be typing those momentous words one of these days, and thanks to you generous readers, I now can. We have just collected more money in the 1987-'88 Children's Hospital campaign than we have ever collected in a single year before -- and "before" spans 39 years.

A year ago, we tipped the scales at $429,012.98. This year, we are comfortably past that -- and we may be significantly past that by the time I add up all the contributions that sneak into my mailbox at the last second.

Here are the record Week Eight totals:

Grand Total to Date: $444,491.84.

Total Given This Week: $46,915.84.

Individual Donors to Date: 3,792.

Group Donors to Date: 914.

What a magnificent performance! You folks started giving early, and you never stopped. You have shown once again that underneath all the bluster and the fluster and the filibuster, this city has a heart.

I'll publish the Absolutely Final totals on Tuesday. In the meantime, thanks to every one of you. The kids appreciate it -- and so does the former kid who's typing this.

Well, Levey, all I can say is that when you fluff them, you fluff them big.

On Tuesday, I published news of a donation from deep in the bosom of the military. I got the amount ($640) right. I got the first seven words of the group's name right. But on the eighth, I fell from grace with a splat.

The correct name of the generous group was the Personnel and Employment Service-Washington, Department of the Army.

I accused them of belonging to the Department of the Navy instead.

That is a very unwise distinction to fluff, especially on the banks of the Potomac, where approximately 40,000 members of the Army and Navy live, work -- and cast daggers at each other.

To their credit, the gang at Personnel & Co. thought the mistake was a howler. A fellow who works there called me up and said maybe his coworkers would stop laughing about the mistake by the end of the day -- and then again, maybe they wouldn't.

Thank you, laughing legions, for your sense of humor. I have no idea how I managed to fluff such a fluff. Call it vapor lock of the brain, or something. I'm very sorry -- and very relieved to set the record straight.

Group donations continued to arrive by the bundle in the last days of the campaign. Among them:

Repair, rental and sales employees of Ritz Camera Corporate Headquarters and Store No. 35 ($130).

Retired United Airlines Pilot Association ($100).

Pinecrest Bridge Club ($40).

Employees of the National Conservative Political Action Committee and the National Conservative Foundation, Alexandria ($60).

Office of Information Resources Management, Small Business Administration ($77 left over from the Christmas party fund).

Employees of the Naval Council of Personnel Boards ($260).

The Mason-Dixon Chapter of ABATE of Virginia ($57.65).

Student Council at Bel Pre Elementary School, Silver Spring ($44.67).

Families for Private Adoption ($60).

The staff of North American Telecommunications Association ($78.50, and welcome aboard to this first-time bunch).

Allison Fox & Co., Arlington ($100 in honor of its clients).

Fairfax County Department of Animal Control ($25).

Foulger Pratt Construction Inc., Rockville ($250).

Nuclear Radiation Effects Survivability Laboratory, Harry Diamond Laboratories and U.S. Army LABCOM, Office of the Secretary to the General Staff, Adelphi ($585.40).

Staff, customers and friends of The French Baker at International Square ($574.77).

Debbie Hance's second-grade class at Mount Harmony Elementary School, Owings, Md. ($17).

AARP Pharmacy Service, The Publishing Group and The Adams Group ($$75 from a gingerbread house raffle).

The Hot Shoppes and Travel Plaza Division, Marriott Corporation ($17.48).

Employees of Shimel, Lieberman & Bender, P.A. ($59).

Employees of the Rockville office of Sahlen & Associates, Inc. ($55 collected at the office Christmas party).

Members of the Asian-American Club, Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda ($100).

St. Stephen's Guild of Severn Parish, St. Stephen's Church, Crownsville, Md. ($25 in memory of Susan Reno).

Gaithersburg Aerie 3509, Fraternal Order of Eagles ($3,000 -- $2,500 from the members, $500 from the Ladies' Auxiliary).

Asia & Near East Bureau, Agency for International Development ($65 discovered in the treasury after the Christmas party).

Employees of Giant Food store No. 95, Calverton ($215).

J. F. Thomas Co., Baileys Crossroads ($150).

Chevy Chase Business and Professional Women's Club ($135).

Washington-area employees of Recognition Equipment Inc., McLean ($1,071.80).

Janyce Zinnaman's speech class at Howard County Community College ($22).

The Business Center, Fairfax Station ($18.23).

Vienna Jaycees ($50).

American Turkish Association ($300).

M2 Training Consultants, Gaithersburg ($25).

Glenn Dale Senior Citizens Club ($75).

Ryon & McDaniel Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., Forestville ($200).

Chrystal Hogan's Algebra II and precalculus classes, the Madeira School, Greenway, Va. ($21.33).

Women's Auxiliary to the Metropolitan Washington Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors, Inc. ($100).

Members of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Patuxent River NAS, Post 2632 ($50).

Members of the Montgomery County Volunteer Youth First Aid Unit ($40.51 in pennies).

Xi Gamma Beta, Chapter No. 3958, Beta Sigma Phi ($50).

Mastercraft Interiors, Alexandria store ($40 collected at the Christmas party).

Instructional Assistant Association, Alexandria Public Schools ($25).

Employees of STSC, Rockville ($177.89).

Village Swingers Square Dance Club ($142).

Washington D.C. Chapter, International Plastic Modelers Society ($193).

Staff, friends and customers, Barrel House ($1,860).

Employees of Arlington Woodworking & Lumber Co., Inc., Manassas and Tysons Corner ($1,825).

Staff and customers of The Community Store, Upper Marlboro ($100 collected in a jug).

Linda Butler's first-grade class, James Ryder Randall Elementary School, Clinton ($50).

Office of Procurement & Supply, Veterans Administration ($252).

Linda Mencarini's first-period algebra 2-trigonometry class, Rockville High School ($50).

Once again, huge heaps of thanks to each of you.