Agonizing. Tantalizing. And maybe, in the end, appetizing. In just a short time, we will have our final answer.

Our 1990-91 fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's Hospital officially ended on Friday. But it is Thursday afternoon as I type this, and I still don't know whether we set a record in the final 24 hours of our campaign or fell just short.

I'll report the final total in my Tuesday column. In the meantime, suspense reigns.

Here are the Week Eight figures:

Grand Total to Date: $557,827.82.

Grand Total at the Same Time Last Year: $523,688.49.

Total Given This Week: $67,055.11.

Individual Donations to Date: 4,255.

Group Donations to Date: 803.

Our 1989-90 campaign finished at $562,410.37. We need about $4,600 to surge past that record figure. Did the Friday mail contain that much, or more? My fingers are crossed. My hopes are high.

But as I hold my breath, heaps of thanks to all of you who have contributed to the campaign this year. The cause never goes out of style. Obviously, your generosity never does, either.

Last-minute group contributors include:

Vegas Club, Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad Inc., College Park ($500).

The George Hyman Construction Co., Bethesda (a spectacular $27,630 -- $25,000 from the company, the rest from the employees as a way of wishing each other happy holidays).

TeleSec Temporary Services, Kensington ($1,283 with special thanks to Diane J. Ingram).

Nutrient Composition Lab, USDA, Beltsville ($74.70).

Touch Toys, Inc., Bethesda ($25).

Defense Mapping Agency-SDAT ($155.20).

"All of us at Bowie City Hall" ($30).

Staff, ELM Services, Rockville ($225).

Staff, Dental and Medical Materials Group, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, which includes employees of the Paffenbarger Research Center of the American Dental Association Health Foundation, Gaithersburg ($101).

Staff, Washington, D.C., Office, Insurance Information Institute ($50).

Economic Surveys Division, Bureau of the Census ($130 in lieu of exchanging Christmas cards).

Employees, Office of Security, U.S. Agency for International Development ($158).

Muslim Women's Association of Washington, D.C. ($200).

Finance Division, Internal Revenue Service ($180 from the soda fund).

Riverdale Heights Garden Club ($100.20 left in the till when the club disbanded).

Rachel Tretchick's students at Sen Loang School ($50).

Information and Data Systems Division, National Park Service ($80).

Scott's Sweats, Suitland ($10).

Staff, House Committee on Appropriations ($2,026).

IUE staff, Goddard Space Flight Center ($58).

Members and friends, Defense Communications Agency Joint Data Systems Support Center, Sterling (a whopping $9,000, and a whopping thank-you to this bunch, which has now donated more than $60,000 over the last 14 years).

Production manager's staff, U.S. Government Printing Office ($200).

Commercial Administration and Purchasing Departments, British Aerospace, Inc., Dulles Airport ($125).

Research and Information Systems Division ($116).

Armstrong, Nikaido, Marmelstein, Kubovcik & Murray, Northwest Washington ($1,461, half from the employees through cookie sales, the other half from the partners).

Employees, Interferometrics, Inc., Vienna ($200).

Office of Facilities, Department of Veterans Affairs ($700 from a bazaar and raffle).

Employees, Washington Field Office, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ($25).

Edward Marcil, Gary Grove and employees, Suburban Service, Davidsonville ($76.15).

HHS's Office of General Counsel, Food and Drug Division ($60).

Aspen Publishers, Inc., Gaithersburg ($1,532.45 -- $532.45 from the employees through a holiday raffle, the remainder from the company).

Online Computer Systems, Inc., Germantown ($560, half from the employees, half from the company).

The Progress Club Foundation, Inc., Rockville ($2,500).

Employees, Sears Contract Sales, Rockville ($2,346 with a special hug and kiss to Connie Matter).

Congressional Record Index Office ($85).

Staff, City of Hyattsville ($142).

Employees, National Automobile Dealers Association, McLean ($2,750).

Employees, Wakefield Park & Recreation Center, Fairfax County ($50).

Employees and friends, Springhill Lake Custodial Department, Greenbelt ($545).

Montgomery County Youth First Aid Unit ($35.96).

Foster Associates, Inc. ($561, and thanks for a 25th consecutive annual contribution).

Staff and patients, Pediatric Clinic, Walter Reed Army Medical Center ($33.75 from the "Pennies for Children's" jar).

Staff, Giant Pharmacy No. 1192, Gaithersburg ($20 from the "cuss box").

Employees, James G. Davis Construction Corporation, Rockville ($559 in lieu of exchanging cards and gifts).

Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts Section, FBI ($500 raised during the 13th annual "FOIPA Follies").

Employees, Voice of America ($223).

Programmers, Information Resource Management, Peace Corps ($140 from in-house bake sales).

Employees, The Behnke Nurseries Co., Largo and Beltsville ($821.07, matched by the company).

Legal and Information Systems staff, Department of Justice ($21 left over from the Christmas party fund).

Patrons and management, Town Hall, College Park ($1,000, with special thanks to Santa Claus Steve Yarmola).

The Apron Strings ($750).

"One office from the Department of Defense" ($70).

Jennifer Winer's Period 5 English class, Pyle Middle School, Bethesda ($20).

Employees, International Medical News Group and Mercury Press, Rockville ($100 by collecting and selling recyclables).

The Tony Sablone Children's Hospital Fund (NAVSEA) ($90 from the football pool).

Brokers, Paine Webber, Bethesda ($130).

The A. E. March Hearts Club, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory ($100).

The Law Office of Sadur, Pelland & Rubenstein ($75 instead of exchanging gifts).

Special Computer Center and friends, Central Intelligence Agency ($430 from the "Pennies for Children Fund").

Sunday School, First Baptist Church Chesterbrook, McLean ($62).

Washington Plate Printer's Union at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Bureau facility in Fort Worth, Tex. ($2,630).